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(1/1269) Cellular and molecular characterization of the scurfy mouse mutant.

Mice hemizygous (Xsf/Y) for the X-linked mutation scurfy (sf) develop a severe and rapidly fatal lymphoproliferative disease mediated by CD4+CD8- T lymphocytes. We have undertaken phenotypic and functional studies to more accurately identify the immunologic pathway(s) affected by this important mutation. Flow cytometric analyses of lymphoid cell populations reveal that scurfy syndrome is characterized by changes in several phenotypic parameters, including an increase in Mac-1+ cells and a decrease in B220+ cells, changes that may result from the production of extremely high levels of the cytokine granulocyte-macrophage CSF by scurfy T cells. Scurfy T cells also exhibit strong up-regulation of cell surface Ags indicative of in vivo activation, including CD69, CD25, CD80, and CD86. Both scurfy and normal T cells are responsive to two distinct signals provided by the TCR and by ligation of CD28; scurfy cells, however, are hyperresponsive to TCR ligation and exhibit a decreased requirement for costimulation through CD28 relative to normal controls. This hypersensitivity may result, in part, from increased costimulation through B7-1 and B7-2, whose expression is up-regulated on scurfy T cells. Although the specific defect leading to this hyperactivation has not been identified, we also demonstrate that scurfy T cells are less sensitive than normal controls to inhibitors of tyrosine kinases such as genistein and herbimycin A, and the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A. One interpretation of our data would suggest that the scurfy mutation results in a defect, which interferes with the normal down-regulation of T cell activation.  (+info)

(2/1269) Detection of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in sera from transplant recipients with lymphoproliferative disorders.

Early diagnosis of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) is important because many patients respond to reduction in immunosuppression, especially if PTLD is detected at an early stage. Previous studies have found elevated EBV DNA levels in blood from patients with PTLD, but these assays required isolation of cellular blood fractions and quantitation. We evaluated the presence of cell-free EBV DNA in serum from solid-organ transplant recipients as a marker for PTLD. Five of 6 transplant recipients with histopathologically documented PTLD had EBV DNA detected in serum at the time of diagnosis (sensitivity = 83%), compared with 0 of 16 matched transplant recipients without PTLD (specificity = 100%) (P < 0.001 [Fisher's exact test]). Furthermore, EBV DNA was detected in serum 8 and 52 months prior to the diagnosis of PTLD in two of three patients for whom stored sera were analyzed. Detection of EBV DNA in serum appears to be a useful marker for the early detection of PTLD in solid-organ transplant recipients. Further studies to define the role of such assays in evaluating solid-organ transplant patients at risk for PTLD are warranted.  (+info)

(3/1269) Cytokine mRNA profiles in Epstein-Barr virus-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders.

Cytokine mRNA patterns were analyzed in 11 post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) specimens using qualitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In each case, a pattern of IL2-, IFN gamma-, IL4+, IL10+ was seen. A similar pattern was observed in a spleen sample from 1 patient with contemporaneous PTLD elsewhere. Semiquantitative RT-PCR for cytokine message was performed using RNA from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) specimens obtained from 2 patients with pulmonary PTLD. In both cases, IL4 message predominated. Reduction of message coincided with resolution of the tumors. The pattern differed from that seen in 1 patient with acute pulmonary rejection, in which RT-PCR of BAL cells showed predominance of IL6 and IFN gamma. We conclude that at least some PTLDs exist within a T-helper cell type 2 (Th2)-like cytokine microenvironment. The presence of a similar mRNA pattern in an extratumoral specimen at the time of PTLD suggests that it may reflect a systemic phenomenon. Disappearance of this pattern following PTLD resolution indicates its dynamic nature and is consistent with the hypothesis that specific cytokines contribute to the development of PTLDs.  (+info)

(4/1269) B cell lymphoproliferative disorders following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: risk factors, treatment and outcome.

Twenty-six cases of B cell lymphoproliferative disorder (BLPD) were identified among 2395 patients following hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) for which an overall incidence of BLPD was 1.2%. The true incidence was probably higher, since 9/26 of the diagnoses were made at autopsy. No BLPD was observed following autologous HSCT, so risk factor analyses were confined to the 1542 allogeneic HSCT. Factors assessed were HLA-mismatching (> or = 1 antigen), T cell depletion (TCD), presence of acute GvHD (grades II-IV), donor type (related vs unrelated), age of recipient and donor, and underlying disease. Factors found to be statistically significant included patients transplanted for immune deficiency and CML, donor age > or = 18 years, TCD, and HLA-mismatching, with recipients of combined TCD and HLA-mismatched grafts having the highest incidence. Factors found to be statistically significant in a multiple regression analysis were TCD, donor age and immune deficiency, although 7/8 of the patients with immunodeficiencies and BLPD received a TCD graft from a haploidentical parent. The overall mortality was 92% (24/26). One patient had a spontaneous remission, but subsequently died >1 year later of chronic GVHD. Thirteen patients received therapy for BLPD. Three patients received lymphocyte infusions without response. The only patients with responses and longterm survival received alpha interferon (alphaIFN). Of seven patients treated with alphaIFN there were four responses (one partial and three complete). These data demonstrate that alphaIFN can be an effective agent against BLPD following HSCT, if a timely diagnosis is made.  (+info)

(5/1269) Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome with defective Fas: genotype influences penetrance.

Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a disorder of lymphocyte homeostasis and immunological tolerance. Most patients have a heterozygous mutation in the APT1 gene, which encodes Fas (CD95, APO-1), mediator of an apoptotic pathway crucial to lymphocyte homeostasis. Of 17 unique APT1 mutations in unrelated ALPS probands, 12 (71%) occurred in exons 7-9, which encode the intracellular portion of Fas. In vitro, activated lymphocytes from all 17 patients showed apoptotic defects when exposed to an anti-Fas agonist monoclonal antibody. Similar defects were found in a Fas-negative cell line transfected with cDNAs bearing each of the mutations. In cotransfection experiments, Fas constructs with either intra- or extracellular mutations caused dominant inhibition of apoptosis mediated by wild-type Fas. Two missense Fas variants, not restricted to patients with ALPS, were identified. Variant A(-1)T at the Fas signal-sequence cleavage site, which mediates apoptosis less well than wild-type Fas and is partially inhibitory, was present in 13% of African American alleles. Among the ALPS-associated Fas mutants, dominant inhibition of apoptosis was much more pronounced in mutants affecting the intracellular, versus extracellular, portion of the Fas receptor. Mutations causing disruption of the intracellular Fas death domain also showed a higher penetrance of ALPS phenotype features in mutation-bearing relatives. Significant ALPS-related morbidity occurred in 44% of relatives with intracellular mutations, versus 0% of relatives with extracellular mutations. Thus, the location of mutations within APT1 strongly influences the development and the severity of ALPS.  (+info)

(6/1269) Diagnostic approach to lymph node enlargement.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: How to reach the correct diagnosis of a lymph node enlargement is still a problem which strongly challenges the knowledge and experience of the clinician. Organized and specifically oriented literature on the right sequential steps and the logical criteria that should guide this diagnostic approach is still lacking. METHODS: The authors have tried to exploit available knowledge and their personal experience by correlating a large body of information regarding size, physical characteristics, anatomical location of enlarged lymph nodes, and the possible epidemiological, environmental, occupational and clinical categorization of this condition. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: It was intended that such material would have constituted the basis of a hypothetic decision-making tree, but this was impossible because of the lack of epidemiological investigation and registry data. Nevertheless, we present this preparatory work here in order to stimulate the interest of concerned readers and because of its possible direct usefulness in hematologic practice.  (+info)

(7/1269) Defective CD95/APO-1/Fas signal complex formation in the human autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, type Ia.

Heterozygous mutations in the CD95 (APO-1/Fas) receptor occur in most individuals with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) and dominantly interfere with apoptosis by an unknown mechanism. We show that local or global alterations in the structure of the cytoplasmic death domain from nine independent ALPS CD95 death-domain mutations result in a failure to bind the FADD/MORT1 signaling protein. Despite heterozygosity for the abnormal allele, lymphocytes from ALPS patients showed markedly decreased FADD association and a loss of caspase recruitment and activation after CD95 crosslinking. These data suggest that intracytoplasmic CD95 mutations in ALPS impair apoptosis chiefly by disrupting death-domain interactions with the signaling protein FADD/MORT1.  (+info)

(8/1269) Increased spontaneous in vitro apoptosis in double negative T cells of humans with a fas/apo-1 mutation.

We describe a 17 year old patient suffering from Canale-Smith syndrome (CSS) including chronic lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, hypergammaglobulinemia and recurrent Coombs positive hemolytic crises. The parents are not consanguine, all other family members including two brothers are healthy. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the patient showed an increased rate of CD3 positive, CD4/CD8 double negative T-lymphocytes. In vitro assays showed these cells to have an increased rate of spontaneous apoptosis. Though expression of Fas/Apo-1 (CD95) and Fas-ligand (FasL) was detected on RNA- and protein level we found Fas/Apo-1 mediated apoptosis being significantly reduced. Sequencing of the fas/apo-1 gene proved the patient RT and his father to carry a point mutation at position 804 located in exon 9 (death domain) leading to an amino acid substitution. For developing of CSS, a fas/apo-1 mutation seems to be necessary but not sufficient. An additional independent mechanism must be involved in the pathogenesis of human lpr<-phenotype.  (+info)