We analysed the relationship between all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) resistance and P-glycoprotein (P-gp)-associated multidrug resistance (MDR) in acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL). There was no difference in the intracellular ATRA accumulation between NB4 cells and an MDR1 cDNA-transduced NB4 subline and between ATRA-resistant NB4 cells (NB4/RA) and an MDR1 cDNA- transduced NB4/RA subline. PSC833, a MDR modifier, did not increase the intracellular accumulation of ATRA or affect the expression of CD11b, the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction activity, the proportion of apoptotic cells or the morphology of these four ATRA-treated cell lines. Similar results were obtained in the analysis of APL cells from five patients relapsed after ATRA-induced complete remission.
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