Immunologic aspects of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis.
Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a preclinical hematologic condition wherein small numbers of clonal B cells can be detected in the blood of otherwise healthy individuals. Most MBL have a surface immunophenotype nearly identical to that of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), though other phenotypes can also be identified. MBL has been shown to be a precursor state for CLL, but most MBL clones are quite small and apparently have minimal potential to progress of CLL or other B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder (B-LPD). The investigation of MBL as a precursor state for CLL will likely lead to important insights into mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. The review will cover clinical and translational aspects of MBL, with a particular emphasis on the prevalence of MBL; the relationship between MBL, CLL, and other B-LPDs; and the capacity of MBL to modulate the normal B- and T-cell compartments.
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