Immunotherapy using bispecific antibodies (BsAb) to direct immune effector cells toward target tumor cells has been shown to be effective in a number of studies. Several immune trigger molecules have been characterized. Among them, FcgammaRI appears to play an important role in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. It is expressed mainly on monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils under certain clinical situations. The expression of FcgammaRI can be regulated by a variety of cytokines, primarily by IFN-gamma. Recent studies have shown that granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) can increase the number of the FcgammaRI-positive monocytes, increase the expression of FcgammaRI on circulating neutrophils after in vivo infusion, and greatly enhance the cytotoxic activity of circulating neutrophils. CD33 is a glycoprotein expressed on the cell surface of mature monocytes, myeloid progenitor cells, and myeloid leukemic blasts, but not on the earliest hematopoietic progenitor cells and other normal tissues. Herein, we report the construction of a BsAb, 251 x 22, by conjugating an anti-CD33 mAb (mAb 251) to an anti-FcgammaRI mAb (mAb 22). The BsAb 251 x 22 is capable of enhancing the cytotoxicity of several leukemia cell lines by cytokine-activated monocytes. Our data also show that G-CSF- and GM-CSF-stimulated monocytes can mediate cytotoxicity of target leukemia cells comparable to that of IFN-gamma-stimulated monocytes. The expression of FcgammaRI on monocytes after 24-h in vitro incubation with G-CSF and GM-CSF was increased, although not significantly. Prolonged incubation of monocytes with G-CSF for 48 h significantly increased the FcgammaRI expression. Because humanized anti-CD33 and anti-FcgammaRI mAb are available, and because GM-CSF and G-CSF have been used widely for patients after chemotherapy to stimulate the recovery of myeloid hematopoiesis, additional clinical development of this project is feasible. A BsAb comprised of humanized anti-CD33 and anti-FcgammaRI could have clinical application in the treatment of myeloid leukemia, especially in the management of minimal residual disease.

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