Folate deficiency delays the onset but increases the incidence of leukemia in Friend virus-infected mice.
Clinical studies have indicated that folate deficiency may enhance the development of various malignancies. In animal studies that examined the effect of folate deficiency on malignancies, conflicting results have been reported. In some studies, folate deficiency increased the development and growth of malignant tumors; in others, it decreased the development and growth of malignancies. We examined the effect of transient folate deficiency on the development of leukemia in mice infected with the anemia-inducing strain of Friend leukemia virus. Friend virus disease can be considered as a model for human acute leukemias that are preceded by a preleukemic period. These include leukemias that develop in patients who received previous chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, as well as patients with chronic granulocytic leukemia or myelodysplasia. Folate deficiency around the time of Friend virus-infection delayed the onset but increased the incidence of leukemia. The rates of rearrangement of the Spi-1 (PU.1 ) oncogene by provirus integration and alteration of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene were the same in leukemia cell lines derived from folate-deficient mice as they were in cell lines from control mice. These results indicate that folate deficiency did not exert its enhancement of leukemogenesis through changes in either Spi-1 or p53, even though these two genes have been found to be the most frequently altered ones in Friend virus-induced leukemias. Our results suggest that folate deficiency may enhance the development of acute leukemia in patients who are at high risk for this disease.
Published In/Presented At
Koury, M. J., Park, D. J., Martincic, D., Horne, D. W., Kravtsov, V., Whitlock, J. A., del Pilar Aguinaga, M., & Kopsombut, P. (1997). Folate deficiency delays the onset but increases the incidence of leukemia in Friend virus-infected mice. Blood, 90(10), 4054–4061.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Hematology-Medical Oncology Division