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N Engl J Med. 1999 Oct 7;341(15):1112-20.

Abnormal clones of T cells producing interleukin-5 in idiopathic eosinophilia.

Author information

  • 1Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research, University of Zurich, Davos. hus@siaf.unizh.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The cause of persistent eosinophilia and the hypereosinophilic syndrome is unknown. Recent work suggests that in some patients with the hypereosinophilic syndrome, a clone of abnormal T cells produces large amounts of interleukin-5, a cytokine required for the growth and differentiation of eosinophils. We examined T-cell surface markers, rearranged T-cell-receptor genes, and in vitro production of cytokines by T cells from patients with idiopathic eosinophilia.

METHODS:

The expression of surface molecules on T cells was measured by flow cytometry. Cytokine expression was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemical analysis. To identify dominant (clonal) rearrangements of the T-cell receptor within the lymphocyte population, Southern blot analysis (beta chain) and the polymerase chain reaction (gamma chain) were performed according to standard protocols.

RESULTS:

Among 60 patients with idiopathic eosinophilia, 16 had circulating T cells with an aberrant immunophenotype. In each of these patients, the abnormal immunophenotype was unique. Evidence of clonal rearrangements of the T-cell receptor was obtained in 8 of the 16 patients. In most instances, the abnormal T cells expressed large amounts of surface proteins associated with T-cell activation (the alpha chain of the interleukin-2 receptor and the HLA-DR antigen). Moreover, the aberrant T cells produced large amounts of interleukin-5 in vitro.

CONCLUSIONS:

Clonal populations of abnormal T cells producing interleukin-5 occur in some patients with idiopathic eosinophilia.

Comment in

  • Idiopathic eosinophilia. [N Engl J Med. 2000]
  • Idiopathic eosinophilia. [N Engl J Med. 2000]
  • Idiopathic eosinophilia. [N Engl J Med. 2000]
  • Eosinophilia--idiopathic or not? [N Engl J Med. 1999]
PMID:
10511609
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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