Although expression of CD95 (Fas/Apo-1) on myeloma cells has been reported, its significance is not clearly understood. We established a myeloma cell line, KHM-11ad (11ad), from a parental cell line, KHM-11, by collecting cells adhered to a plastic dish. KHM-11 cells have been reported to be positive for CD45 and CD95 (Fas/Apo1), and negative for a myelomonocytic antigen, CD13. Interestingly, CD95 was not detected in 11ad. Expression of CD45 was also significantly decreased in 11ad cells while expression of CD13 was detected in these cells. The growth rate of 11ad cells was 1.7 times lower than that of KHM-11 cells. Analysis of adhesion molecules showed that expression of VLA4 and CD44 was significantly suppressed in 11ad. The IC50 of melphalan (L-PAM) for 11ad cells was 50 times higher than that for KHM-11, indicating that 11ad is significantly refractory to L-PAM than KHM-11 cells. Induction of apoptosis by doxorubicin and cycloheximide was suppressed in 11ad cells compared with those in KHM-11 cells. Western blot analysis for Bcl-2 family of proteins showed that Bax was expressed at a 2.2 times lower level in 11ad cells than in KHM-11 cells while there was no difference in expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-Xs nor Bcl-XL. These results suggest that CD95-negative myeloma cells may have characteristics as follows: (1) slow proliferation; (2) low sensitivity to apoptosis; (3) low expression of VLA4, CD44 and Bax. Although these intraclonal variations were based on the findings of cell lines, these may reflect similar variations in vivo. The 11ad line may be a suitable model for analyzing intraclonal variation of myeloma cells.

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