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R Kofler, S Schmidt, A Kofler, and MJ Ausserlechner

Glucocorticoid (GC) resistance is a phenomenon of major significance in a number of clinical situations, including the therapy of lymphoid malignancies. Resistance may concern all, or just selected, GC effects, it may be absolute or just reflect a state of reduced sensitivity and, clinically relevant, be reversible or irreversible. Numerous molecular mechanisms can be envisaged acting either 'upstream' in the GC-triggered signaling pathway, i.e. at the level of the GC receptor (GR), or 'downstream' at the level of the GC-regulated genes responsible for individual GC effects. In lymphoid malignancies, GCs have anti-leukemic effects through the induction of apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest. In this condition evidence for only a small number of mechanisms for GC resistance has been provided, mostly at the level of the GR. Herein, we review reports and hypotheses regarding 'upstream' and 'downstream' mechanisms for GC resistance in lymphoblastic leukemia and present an in vitro GC resistance model that might allow identification of resistance mechanisms.

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B. Staindl, P. Berger, R. Kofler, and G. Wick


Nine mouse hybridoma cell lines producing monoclonal antibodies (MCA) against human prolactin (hPRL), 19 cell lines against bovine prolactin (bPRL) and one MCA against rat prolactin (rPRL) were established. The MCA were characterized by one- and two-site radioimmunoassays (RIA) as well as indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and used for epitope mapping of hPRL and immunoradiometric assays (IRMA).

Interspecies cross-reactivity studies by RIA revealed two groups of anti-hPRL MCA: seven which reacted only with hPRL and two additionally recognizing bPRL and ovine prolactin (oPRL). The anti-bPRL MCA, which were tested on pituitary sections by IIF could be divided into 17 MCA cross-reacting with the closely related oPRL, and two MCA which showed additional cross-reactions with equine prolactin. The anti-rPRL antibody reacted exclusively with rPRL in direct binding RIA studies. No intraspecies cross-reactions with the closely related protein hormones placental lactogen and GH were detected.

To elucidate the antigenic surface of hPRL all MCA directed against hPRL were then used for two-site epitope mapping studies in which pairs of MCA were assessed for simultaneous reaction with the same antigen. The native hormone was incubated with the first, solid-phase bound, so called 'capture MCA', and this complex treated with a second, 125I-labelled 'detection MCA'. Based on the results of these combinations, at least three sterically non-overlapping and (taking RIA cross-reaction studies into consideration) two additional epitopes could be defined. Two antibodies (code numbers INN-hPRL-1 and INN-hPRL-9) recognizing different antigenic determinants were selected and used to elaborate a two-site IRMA with an operating range wider and a reaction time shorter than those obtained with a conventional one-site RIA.

J. Endocr. (1987) 114,311–318