B-cell-type chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) patients have immunological abnormalities of both B and T lymphocytes. Since T cell defects might depend upon a defective accessory function of neoplastic B lymphocytes, we analyzed the ability of peripheral blood B cells of seven B-CLL patients to stimulate allogenic normal T cells in mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and to present tetanus toxoid (TT) to autologous T cells. In both systems, neoplastic B lymphocytes show a defective antigen-presenting function, which is more evident with disease progression. Such a defect cannot be ascribed to a decreased MHC class II molecule expression nor to an abnormal IL-1β production, but it can be partially accounted for by a low B7 expression. Pretreatment of neoplastic B cells with interleukin-4 (IL-4) restores primary MLR, but has little effect on the response to TT. The effect of IL-4 is not mediated by quantitative modifications of class II and B7 molecule expression or of IL-1β production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Immunology and Allergy