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N Engl J Med. 1985 Aug 29;313(9):529-33.

Rearrangement of the gene for the beta chain of the T-cell receptor in T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and related disorders.


Although monoclonal B-cell populations can be identified both by surface-marker analysis and by immunoglobulin-gene rearrangements, this has not been possible with T cells. We have employed cDNA probes that are specific for the entire beta chain of the T-cell receptor, and for its constant and variable regions, to investigate gene rearrangements in T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and related disorders. In three malignant proliferations of helper (T4-positive) T cells, rearrangements of the beta-chain constant-region gene were readily demonstrated. A patient from the Caribbean who had adult T-cell lymphoma and antibody to human T-cell lymphotrophic virus Type I (HTLV-I), a patient with virus-negative chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and a patient with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (S├ęzary variant) made up the T4-positive group. Three additional patients with chronic T8 (cytotoxic-suppressor) lymphocytosis and neutropenia were studied; in two; rearrangements were found. In all five patients with constant-region rearrangements, deletions of variable-region restriction fragments were observed as well. The presence of rearrangements of a T-cell receptor gene provides presumptive evidence for the clonal nature of T-cell proliferation and for its neoplastic character.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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