Helper cell function of leukemic Leu-2a+, histamine receptor+, T(γ) lymphocytes

F. P. Siegal, P. Rambotti, M. Siegal, C. Lopez, M. Smith, T. F. Davies, M. Osband, S. Estren

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Leukemic cells from a patient with an 11-yr history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) were found to have the surface phenotype Leu-1+, Leu-2a+, Leu-3a-, sheep erythrocyte rosette+, IgGFc receptor+. The cells also bore a receptor for histamine inhibitable by cimetidine (H-2). The clonal nature of the proliferation was documented by the presence of a consistent marker chromosome (22-trisomy) in metaphases elicited by culture with T cell growth factors. Although the surface phenotype suggested that these cells might function as suppressor lymphocytes, they had an enhancing effect on the pokeweed mitogen- (PWM) driven generation of plasma cells and reverse hemolytic plaque-forming cells in vitro. This helper activity was modified neither by irradiation of the leukemic cells nor by removal of a minor population of Leu-3a+ cells, suggesting that the effects were attributable to the CLL cells themselves. In addition to these functions, the CLL cells were active in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) assays in association with expression of Fc receptors for IgG. The ADCC was diminished when a transient loss of the Fc receptor expression was observed. No activity in natural killer cell assays employing K-562 cells or herpes simplex virus- (HSV) infected cells as targets could be attributed to the leukemic clone. These studies indicate that the cell surface phenotype, as defined by monoclonal antibodies, may not always predict the functional state of a particular cell, and suggest that within the Leu-2a+ (TH-2+) population of human lymphocytes, some helper as well as suppressor/cytotoxic cells are to be found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1775-1781
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1982


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