Clonal Expansion Within the CD4+CD57+ and CD8+CD57+ T Cell Subsets in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Davide Serrano, Joanita Monteiro, Steven L. Allen, Jonathan Kolitz, Philip Schulman, Stuart M. Lichtman, Aby Buchbinder, Vincent P. Vinciguerra, Nicholas Chiorazzi, Peter K. Gregersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The role of T cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has not been extensively investigated, since the most prominent cellular abnormality in CLL involves the clonal expansion of B cells. In this study we have undertaken a comprehensive analysis of the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell repertoire in a population of CLL patients (n = 19) and age-matched controls (n = 22). The TCR repertoire analysis was performed using a multiplex PCR assay for CDR3 length, an approach that allows for the detection of underlying oligoclonality in complex T cell populations. We established that oligoclonality was substantially more frequent in both the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell populations of CLL patients than in the age-matched controls (p <0.001). Using three-color FACS analysis with a panel of TCRV segment-specific mAbs, we also established that oligoclonal expansions are predominantly found in the CD57+ subset of both the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell populations. The frequency of the CD57 marker on CD4+ T cells was increased in the setting of CLL (% CD57 = 14.8 ± 13.0%) compared with that in normal controls (% CD57 = 3.3 ± 3.0%; p <0.001). An elevated frequency of CD4+CD57+ T cells was correlated with more advanced disease. Similarly, the most extreme oligoclonal expansions of CD4+CD57+ T cells occurred in CLL patients who had progressed beyond Rai stage 0. These data document profound alterations in the T cell repertoire of CLL patients and point to a role for clonal T cell populations in the pathogenesis of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1489
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume158
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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