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Analysis of lymphocyte subsets in patients with aplastic anemia before and during immunosuppressive therapy

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Summary

To define the contribution of T-lymphocyte subsets in the development of aplastic anemia (AA), T-cell subpopulations including αβT cells, γδT cells, and δTCS1-positive γδT cells, were analyzed by cytophotometry in the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) of patients with AA before and after 6 weeks of therapy with anti-lymphocyte globulin (ALG), methylprednisolone, and cyclosporin A (CSA). In nine patients with AA a significant decrease of PB- and BM-derived T cells was observed after 6 weeks of therapy as compared with normal controls. At diagnosis, the CD4/CD8 ratio in PB and BM of the patients did not differ from the ratio in the control population; however, a reversed ratio (< 1) was present in PB as well as in BM after weeks of therapy. Interestingly, lymphocytes expressing the γδT-cell receptor (TCRτδ) were significantly decreased both before (PB 1.2±0.1%; BM 0.8±0.1%) and after 6 weeks of therapy (PB 0.7±0.1%; BM 0.7±0.1%) as compared with healthy controls (PB 2.4±0.2%; BM 2.3±0.2%). However, the proportion of the γδ-T-cell subpopulation expressing the δTCS1 phenotype was markedly increased before (PB 42±3.5%; BM 31±3%) and especially after 42 days of therapy (PB 77±12%; BM 45±2%) as compared with that in normal subjects (PB 19±2%; BM 9.7±0.8%). At present, follow-up is under evaluation to correlate these findings with hematological response. The pathophysiological significance of the observed alterations within the T-cell subsets and especially the γδT-cell populations will require further functional analyses, in particular since δTCS1-positive γδT cells exhibit autoimmunological capacity.

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Mentzel, U., Vogt, H., Rossol, R. et al. Analysis of lymphocyte subsets in patients with aplastic anemia before and during immunosuppressive therapy. Ann Hematol 66, 127–129 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01697621

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01697621

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