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Blood. 2005 Aug 1;106(3):841-51. Epub 2005 Apr 12.

Preferential suppression of trisomy 8 compared with normal hematopoietic cell growth by autologous lymphocytes in patients with trisomy 8 myelodysplastic syndrome.

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  • 1Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bldg 10, Rm 7C108, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Clinical observations and experimental evidence link bone marrow failure in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with a T cell-dominated autoimmune process. Immunosuppressive therapy is effective in improving cytopenias in selected patients. Trisomy 8 is a frequent cytogenetic abnormality in bone marrow cells in patients with MDS, and its presence has been associated anecdotally with good response to immunotherapy. We studied 34 patients with trisomy 8 in bone marrow cells, some of whom were undergoing treatment with antithymocyte globulin (ATG). All had significant CD8+ T-cell expansions of one or more T-cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta subfamilies, as measured by flow cytometry; expanded subfamilies showed CDR3 skewing by spectratyping. Sorted T cells of the expanded Vbeta subfamilies, but not of the remaining subfamilies, inhibited trisomy 8 cell growth in short-term hematopoietic culture. The negative effects of Vbeta-expanded T cells were inhibited by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class 1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and Fas antagonist and required direct cell-to-cell contact. Sixty-seven percent of patients who had de novo MDS with trisomy 8 as the sole karyotypic abnormality responded to ATG with durable reversal of cytopenias and restoration of transfusion independence, with stable increase in the proportion of trisomy 8 bone marrow cells and normalization of the T-cell repertoire. An increased number of T cells with apparent specificity for trisomy 8 cells is consistent with an autoimmune pathophysiology in trisomy 8 MDS.

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