Different mechanisms of activation of proliferating CD3+ cells in patients with lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes

R. Zambello, M. A. Cassatella, L. Trentin, P. Bulian, F. Siviero, C. Feruglio, C. Agostini, M. Vespignani, T. Chisesi, G. Pizzolo, F. Pandolfi, G. Semenzato

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To investigate the role of p55 and p75 chains of Interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) on the activation of granular lymphocytes (GL) in patients with lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes (LDGL), the cells obtained from 11 LDGL patients (belonging to the CD3+ group) were studied for (a) the surface expression and (b) mRNA transcripts of the p55 and p75 IL-2R after activation with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (mAb) or Interleukin-2 (IL-2). The effects of mAbs specifically blocking the p55 and p75 IL-2R on the generation of proliferative and cytotoxic functions were studied following anti-CD3 mAb stimulation. A significant difference was observed in the expression of p55 and p75 antigens on LDGL cells under resting conditions: a low number of p55 IL-2R+ (mean 1.2 ± 0.4%) and high values of p75 IL-2R+ cells (54.9 ± 7.4%). Accordingly, a barely detectable message for the p55 IL-2R and a strong signal for the p75 IL-2R mRNA were demonstrated. Following activation with anti-CD3 or IL-2, different patterns of IL-2R expression were observed. Anti-CD3 mAb induced an increase in the expression of the p55 IL-2R both at the mRNA and antigen level, whereas the p75 values remained consistently raised. In contrast, IL-2 induced the expression of p55 IL-2R mRNA associated with only a slight expression of this antigen. This finding was associated with a decrease in the cell expression of the p75 IL-2R, whereas the amount of p75 mRNA was unchanged. Both anti-CD3 mAb and IL-2 induced cell proliferation and cytotoxicity against the K-562 target cells. Anti-p55 IL-2R mAb did not affect the cytotoxic activity mediated by anti-CD3, but it markedly inhibited cell proliferation. Anti-p75 mAb did not inhibit either lytic function or cell proliferation mediated by anti-CD3 mAb, suggesting that only the high affinity IL-2R (p55 plus p75) is involved in anti-CD3 mediated cell activation in LDGL patients. This mechanism is different from that responsible for the IL-2 activation of CD3+ GL in LDGL patients, which is achieved through the p75 IL-2R alone. These results provide new insights into the pathophysiology of proliferating GL in LDGL patients and may also contribute to further characterization of the normal CD3+ GL population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-950
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology


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