We studied interaction of CEL-III with cultured human leukemic cell lines and lymphocytes from normal adults by evaluating the extent of cytotoxicity and cytoagglutination. Among acute T lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines, CEL-III displayed increased toxicity against different acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines as a function of increasing differentiation stage. In the case of acute B lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cell lines, CEL-III showed strong cytotoxicity against relatively immature cell lines. We found that CEL-III was more toxic for ALL cell lines than leukocytes obtained from peripheral blood of healthy adults. Strong influence of the additional amount of calcium ion on the extent of cytotoxicity was observed. In addition, we describe a new way to evaluate the extent of cytoagglutination in "% of agglutinated cells." These findings make CEL-III a promising candidate in research for lectins which bind to and destroy only the targeted leukemic cells.
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