Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Rearrangement and expression of T-cell receptor genes in large granular lymphocyte leukemia

  1. TP Jr Loughran,
  2. G Starkebaum, and
  3. JA Aprile
  1. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98104.

Abstract

Ten patients with large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia were studied for rearrangement and expression of T cell receptor (TCR) genes. Eight patients with CD3+ LGL proliferation had unique TCR beta-gene rearrangements, supporting a clonal process. Each of five patients studied with CD3+ disease had evidence for expression of full-length TCR alpha-, beta-, and gamma-gene transcripts. In contrast, patients with CD3- LGL proliferation had no evidence for rearrangement or expression of TCR genes. These studies suggest that leukemic LGL arise from two different cell origins. Leukemic LGL may be a useful model for studying natural killer (NK) cell (CD3- LGL) and non-MHC-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CD3+ LGL) activation and differentiation.