Fozza, Claudio and Contini, Salvatore and Galleu, Antonio and Simula, Maria Pina and Virdis, Patrizia and Bonfigli, Silvana and Longinotti, Maurizio Roberto (2009) Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes display several T-cell expansions, which are mostly polyclonal in the CD4+ subset and oligoclonal in the CD8+ subset. Experimental Hematology, Vol. 37 (8), p. 947-955. ISSN 0301-472X. Article.
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Objective. Immune dysregulation plays a role in the pathophysiology of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), as T-cell clones seem to be involved in the inhibition of hematopoietic precursors. The purpose of this study was to analyze the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of MDS patients, focusing on the third complementarity determining region (CDR3) pattern of their CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte expansions.
Materials and Methods. The study involved 30 patients and 15 age-matched controls. The β-variable (βV) subfamily flow-cytometry analysis was performed on peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. Spectratyping TCR-CDR3 analysis was carried out on isolated helper and cytotoxic T lymphocytes after immunomagnetic separation and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.
Results. We first identified by flow cytometry an increased frequency of expanded βVs in both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in MDS patients. We then showed, by spectratyping, that the CDR3 profile was mostly Gaussian in their CD4+ T cells, whereas CD8+ T cells usually showed skewed or oligoclonal CDR3 regions. When we compared spectratyping and flow-cytometry findings in each patient, we showed that most CD4+ lymphocyte expansions detected by flow cytometry had Gaussian CDR3 profiles, whereas most CD8+ expansions were oligoclonal.
Conclusion. We confirm that in MDS patients the TCR-βV repertoire is overall extremely contracted, especially in cytotoxic T cells. This pattern is mainly determined by selective proliferations of both helper and cytotoxic T cells, which are, however, mostly polyclonal in the former and oligoclonal in the latter. Such a difference, possibly related to the different human leukocyte antigen restriction, could reflect the selective involvement of cytotoxic T cells either in the anti-tumor immune surveillance or in an autoreactive aggression toward hematopoietic precursors.
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