Dendritic Cells in Bone Marrow at Diagnosis and after Chemotherapy in Adult Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dendritic cells (DCs) develop in the bone marrow from haematopoietic progenitor cells. Two subsets, plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and myeloid DCs (mDCs), have been identified. Little is known regarding DC levels in bone marrow of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) before and after chemotherapy. We investigated relative pDC and mDC levels in bone marrow from 37 hospital controls and 60 patients with AML [at diagnosis, complete remission (CR) and follow-up] using four-colour flow cytometry. The pDC immunophenotype was characterized as lin-/HLA-DR+/CD123 + and mDC as lin-/HLA-DR+/CD11c+. In 69% of patients with AML, no DCs were detected at diagnosis. At CR, mDC levels were the same in patients with AML and hospital controls while pDC levels were slightly lower. There was no association between minimal residual disease or survival rates and DC levels. Patients with low mDC levels at CR were more likely to suffer from complicated infections, although the difference was not statistically significant. Altogether, there was a profound decrease in DC levels in patients with AML at diagnosis. DC levels increased at CR and were higher than in hospital controls after post-remission therapy, suggesting that DCs recover after repeated chemotherapy. There may be an association between mDC levels and infectious complications.


  • R. Derolf
  • E. Laane
  • E. Björklund
  • L. Saft
  • M. Björkholm
  • Anna Porwit
External organisations
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • University of Tartu
  • University of Toronto
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Immunology in the medical area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes