Heterogeneity of lymphocyte subpopulations in severe combined immunodeficiency. Evidence against a stem cell defect.
Surface markers typical of T and B lymphocytes were present on varying proportions of peripheral blood lymphocytes from three infants with severe combined immunodeficiency disease. Despite this, functions mediated by T and B cells were either absent or very minimal in all three, including cell-mediated responses in vivo; the in vitro proliferative response to mitogens, allogeneic cells, or antigens; effector cell function in lymphocyte-antibody lymphocytolytic interaction assays; and in vitro synthesis of IgG, IgA, and IgM. In contrast, mononuclear cells from one of the infants were tested and found capable of lysing both human and chicken antibody-coated erythrocyte targets normally. Co-cultivation experiments with unrelated normal control lymphocytes failed to demonstrate suppressor cell activity for immunoglobulin synthesis in these infants. Augmentations of immunoglobulin production from 310 to 560% over that expected on the basis of individual culture data were noted in co-cultures of one of the infants' cells with two different unrelated normal control cells. These findings suggest that that infant may have had a T helper cell defect or that his T cells were unable to produce soluble factors necessary for B cell differentiation. The finding of cells with differentiation markers characteristic of T and B lymphocytes in each of these patients, though in variable quantities, is further evidence for heterogeneity among patients with the clinical syndrome of severe combined immunodeficiency and argues against the concept that their immunodeficiency was due to a stem cell defect.
Buckley, RH; Gilbertsen, RB; Schiff, RI; Ferreira, E; Sanal, SO; Waldmann, TA
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