Skip to main content
Log in

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

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Annals of Hematology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Bluestone JA, Matis LA (1989) TCRτδ cells — minor redundant T-cell subset or specialized immune system component? J Immunol 142: 1785–1789

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Frickhofen N, Kaltwasser J, Schrezenmeier H, et al. (1991) Treatment of aplastic anemia with antilymphocyte globulin and methylprednisolone with or without cyclosporine A. N Engl J Med 324: 1297–1304

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Geissler RG, Ganser A, Rossol R, et al. (1992) Inhibition of BM-derived hematopoietic Colony formation by δTCS1-positive τδ-T-cell population. Exp Haematol 20: 111

    Google Scholar 

  4. Miura A, Endo K, Sugawara T, et al. (1991) T-cell-mediated inhibition of erythropoiesis in aplastic anaemia. Br J Haematol 78: 442–449

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Morio T, Nagasawa M, Nonoyama S, et al. (1990) Phenotypic profile and functions of T-cell-receptor-τδ-bearing cells from patients with primary immunodeficiency syndrome. J Immunol 144: 1270–1275

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Nissen C (1991) Pathophysiology of aplastic anaemia. Acta Haematol 86: 57–60

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Paoli P De, Gennari D, Martelli P, et al. (1991) A subset of τδ lymphocytes is increased during HIV-1 infection, Clin Exp Immunol 83: 187–191

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Platanias L, Gascon P, Bielory L, et al. (1987) Lymphocyte phenotype and lymphokines following anti-thymocyte globulin therapy in patients with aplastic anaemia. Br J Haematol 66: 437–443

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Zoumbos C, Gascon P, Djeu Y, et al. (1985) Circulating activated suppressor T lymphocytes in aplastic anemia. N Engl J Med 312: 257–266

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: