Impaired expression of the CD3-zeta chain in peripheral blood T cells of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia results in an increased susceptibility to apoptosis

Xiao Chen, Anja Woiciechowsky, Silke Raffegerst, Dolores Schendel, Hans Jochem Kolb, Marie Roskrow

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54 Scopus citations

Abstract

In patients with myeloid malignancies, cell-mediated immunity is often suppressed, being most profound in those with advanced disease. Such immune dysfunction, as demonstrated in many patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). may, at least in part, be due to altered expression of the CD3-zeta chain, which is an important component of the T-cell receptor (TCR). We speculated that impaired expression of the TCR-zeta chain would be evident in peripheral blood T cells of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and that such an abnormality would result in an increased ex vivo susceptibility to apoptosis. In this study, we demonstrated that, compared with normal controls, zeta chain expression was significantly down-regulated in all of the T-cell subsets (P < 0.009) in more than 90% of CML patients. In addition, there was a significantly lower expression of the CD3-epsilon chain (P < 0.001) in patients than in controls. In those patients with abnormal zeta chain expression, the proportion of lymphocytes with spontaneous DNA fragmentation, as determined by terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assays, was also significantly higher (P < 0.002) than controls. From all of the patients tested, it was possible to upregulate partially zeta chain expression and hence to reduce the susceptibility to apoptosis by cross-linking the T cells with interleukin (IL)-2. interferon (IFN)-alpha or immobilized CD3. In addition, such cross-linked T cells showed a significantly higher capacity to proliferate than the native CML T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-825
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • CD3-zeta
  • CML
  • NK cells
  • T cells

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