High IL-21 receptor expression and apoptosis induction by IL-21 in follicular lymphoma

Norihiko Akamatsu, Yasuaki Yamada, Hiroo Hasegawa, Koki Makabe, Ryutaro Asano, Izumi Kumagai, Ken Murata, Yoshitaka Imaizumi, Kunihiro Tsukasaki, Kazuto Tsuruda, Kazuyuki Sugahara, Sunao Atogami, Katsunori Yanagihara, Shimeru Kamihira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


We surveyed IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) in leukemia and lymphoma and found that follicular lymphoma cells showed exceptionally high IL-21R expression. Notably, IL-21 showed divergent effects depending on the cell origin: growth stimulation in Burkitt lymphoma cell lines and adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma cell lines but induction of apoptosis in B lymphoma cell lines with t(14;18)(q32;q21), a marker karyotype of follicular lymphoma. IL-21 activated caspase-8 and -3 and reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. More importantly, IL-21 decreased Bcl-2 expression but increased Bax expression. These results support a new therapeutic approach using the IL-21/IL-21R system in follicular lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct 28
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • IL-21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'High IL-21 receptor expression and apoptosis induction by IL-21 in follicular lymphoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this