Reduced thymic output, increased spontaneous apoptosis and oligoclonal B cells in polyethylene glycol-adenosine deaminase-treated patients.
Impairment of purine metabolism due to adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency is associated with a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Polyethylene glycol-modified ADA (PEG-ADA) has provided noncurative, life-saving treatment for these patients, but full immune recovery is not achieved with this therapy. Since ADA-SCID is perhaps the most difficult form of SCID to handle clinically, understanding the benefits and limitations of PEG-ADA therapy may be relevant for treatment selection. To this purpose, we analyzed the rate of thymic output, T and B cell repertoires, number of T cell divisions, IFN-gamma and IL-4 production, and the extent of cell death in five ADA-SCID patients following a prolonged period of treatment with PEG-ADA. We found that thymic output was low in these patients. However, their T cell repertoire was heterogeneous, and their T lymphocytes produced cytokines upon activation and responded to mitogen stimulation, although with different kinetics. Furthermore, a high number of peripheral T lymphocytes were committed to apoptosis. Anomalies were also observed in the B cell compartment, with oligoclonal expansions of B cell clonotypes in two patients. Our data indicate that decreased thymic function, B cell oligoclonality, and increased spontaneous apoptosis may be the mechanisms by which the immunodeficiency of ADA-SCID patients persists in spite of treatment with PEG-ADA.
Malacarne, F; Benicchi, T; Notarangelo, LD; Mori, L; Parolini, S; Caimi, L; Hershfield, M; Notarangelo, LD; Imberti, L
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