Differential calcium leucovorin protection of human lymphoid cell lines from methotrexate
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Human lymphoid cell lines were studied for leucovorin requirements to protect from methotrexate (MTX)-induced growth suppression. Over a 72h continuous exposure leucovorin provided better protection to the cell lines LAZ-007 and RAJI than to the cell lines CCRF-CEM and MOLT-4. The lower leucovorin requirement for LAZ-007 protection versus CCRF-CEM was also seen over a 3h exposure period in which leucovorin protection was assessed by measuring its effect on MTX-induced suppression of 3H-deoxyuridine incorporation into acid-precipitable material. Growth experiments with addition of hypoxanthine or thymidine did not abolish differential protection, suggesting that the phenomenon is not related to selective differences in the tolerance of these cells to an MTX-induced purineless or thymineless state. Preloading of cells with calcium leucovorin caused an identical shift of the CCRF-CEM and LAZ-007 MTX dose - response curves, suggesting that differential catabolism of leucovorin does not contribute to differential protection. The same degree of differential protection was observed for 5-methyltetrahydrofolate as for leucovorin, suggesting that differences in the metabolism of leucovorin do not contribute to differential protection. To elucidate the mechanism of differential protection the influence of leucovorin on [3H]MTX transport and polyglutamylation were studied. Although the Km(MTX) influx and the Ki(leucovorin) for MTX uptake were lower in CCRF-CEM compared with LAZ-007 cells, the size of the difference does not seem adequate to explain differential protection. The extent of MTX polyglutamylation in CCRF-CEM and LAZ-007 cells was identical and the influence of leucovorin on MTX polyglutamylation was the same in both cell lines.
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