The effect of CMC-544, a calicheamicin-conjugated anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody, was analysed in relation to CD22 and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in vitro. The cell lines used were CD22-positive parental Daudi and Raji, and their P-gp positive sublines, Daudi/MDR and Raji/MDR. Cells obtained from 19 patients with B-cell CLL or NHL were also used. The effect of CMC-544 was analysed by viable cell count, morphology, annexin-V staining, and cell cycle distribution. A dose-dependent, selective cytotoxic effect of CMC-544 was observed in cell lines that expressed CD22. CMC-544 was not effective on Daudi/MDR and Raji/MDR cells compared with their parental cells. The MDR modifiers, PSC833 and MS209, restored the cytotoxic effect of CMC-544 in P-gp-expressing sublines. In clinical samples, the cytotoxic effect of CMC-544 was inversely related to the amount of P-gp (P = 0·003), and to intracellular rhodamine-123 accumulation (P < 0·001). On the other hand, the effect positively correlated with the amount of CD22 (P = 0·010). The effect of CMC-544 depends on the levels of CD22 and P-gp. Our findings will help to predict the clinical effectiveness of this drug on these B-cell malignancies, suggesting a beneficial effect with combined use of CMC-544 and MDR modifiers.
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