Heterogeneous immunophenotype of granular lymphocyte expansions: Differential expression of the CD8α and CD8β chains

Daniela De Totero, Pier Luigi Tazzari, James P. DiSanto, Paola Francia Di Celle, Donatella Raspadori, Roberto Conte, Marco Gobbi, Giovanni Battista Ferrara, Neal Flomenberg, Francesco Lauria, Robert Foá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we have evaluated 14 large granular lymphocyte (LGL) expansions, 11 of which were CD8+. Analysis of the membrane expression of the α and β chains of the CD8 antigen, using specific monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs), has shown that LGL expansions with the CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD57+ T-cell receptor (TcR) αβ phenotype bear the CD8α/α isoform, while the CD3+, CD4-, CD8+, CD57+ TcR αβ samples were positive for both the CD8α and CD8β chains. These data were confirmed also by messenger RNA analysis. One additional case, with a peculiar phenotype (CD3-, CD2-, CD4-, CD8+, CD57-) and a germline configuration of the TcR β and γ chain genes, expressed only the CD8α chain. After additional phenotypic analysis with a wider panel of MoAbs, it was found that the β chain of the interleukin-2 receptor was constitutively expressed on the majority of the samples tested, and that most of the monoclonal samples coexpressed CD45RA/R0 antigens. Using MoAbs directed against the variable regions of the TcR β chain, we could show a preferential Vβ region restriction in the CD8+ monoclonal cases. This more extensive characterization of CD8+ LGL expansions has further documented the marked heterogeneity within this rare condition and allowed a better phenotypic dissection between the monoclonal and polyclonal cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1773
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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