Immunological findings in thymoma and thymoma-related syndromes.
Human thymoma is a neoplasm of thymic epithelial cells associated with several clinical syndromes ranging from autoimmune disease to immunodeficiency. The aim of our research was to investigate T cell-mediated immune response in patients with thymoma. Initially eight patients were enrolled in this study. Four patients underwent surgical removal of the thymus, while four were submitted to diagnostic procedures only. Inversion of the CD4:CD8 ratio was found in three patients. Only one subject displayed a normal CD19 count in peripheral blood. The mean value (+/-SD) of the CD19 percentage in the patient group was 2 +/- 2.2. Notably, the patients with thymoma had fewer mature B lymphocytes than the thymectomized patients. The T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire was investigated in three individuals affected by thymoma: one underwent thymectomy, while the two others, one of which presented with lymphocytosis, were submitted to diagnostic biopsies only. The preliminary results showed a marked alteration in the CD8 repertoire of the thymectomized patient but not in that of the lymphocytotic patient. However, alterations in the TCR repertoire were also found in one patient with thymoma. Altogether, these preliminary findings reveal that loss of CD19+ lymphocytes in peripheral blood is a frequent phenomena in thymoma patients. In this article we discuss this aspect in the context of alterations of the TCR repertoire.
Masci, AM; Palmieri, G; Perna, F; Montella, L; Merkabaoui, G; Sacerdoti, G; Martignetti, A; Racioppi, L
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