Cytotoxic lymphocytes in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Leonardus Wendelinus Mathias Marie Terstappen, B.G. de Grooth, Gezina M.J. Segers-Nolten, Jan Greve

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The occurrence of cytotoxic lymphocyte subpopulations (i.e., CD 16+, CD57+ and cytotoxic CD 8+) was studied in the peripheral blood of 18 B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) patients. The absolute numbers of CD 57+, CD 16+ and cytotoxic CD 8+ lymphocytes were increased in the peripheral blood of untreated patients as compared with healthy donors, suggesting a causal relation with the accumulation of malignant B-cells. For 5 B-CLL patients and 5 hematological normal donors, the lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow were determined. A significant immune response was observed in the lymph nodes of the patients, as reflected by the CD 3+ lymphocytes, which were 1.7–27 times larger in the patients lymph nodes than in their peripheral blood and bone marrow. In contrast, with peripheral blood this was mainly caused by an increase in CD 4+ lymphocytes. The CD 57 lymphocytes in the lymph nodes of the patients had abnormal orthogonal light-scattering signals and an abnormal density of CD 57+ receptors in comparison with their peripheral blood CD 57+ lymphocytes or the CD57+ lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, bone marrow and tonsils of the hematological normal donors. This study shows that although a significant increase of cytotoxic lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of B-CLL patients is observed, the actual distributions of the non-malignant lymphocytes can be quite different at the actual tumor sites, i.e., bone marrow and lymph nodes
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • METIS-129424
  • IR-96417

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