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Blood Rev. 2006 Sep;20(5):245-66. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Pathogenesis of neutropenia in large granular lymphocyte leukemia and Felty syndrome.

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Harvard School of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Pathology, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia (TLGL) is an atypical chronic lymphoproliferative disorder derived from cytotoxic T-cells (CTL). Unlike most forms of leukemia, the pattern of bone marrow infiltration in TLGL may be subtle and the cytopenias are often lineage specific, with neutropenia dominating. Both granulocytic survival and proliferation defects are observed and are mediated by humoral and cell-mediated mechanisms respectively. Splenic production of immune complexes induces a neutrophil survival defect, where as Fas expression by leukemic CTL results in a marrow based proliferation defect. These humoral and cell-mediated pathways induce granulocytic apoptosis through independent intracellular mechanisms which are not mutually exclusive and may be observed concurrently in individual patients with either TLGL or FS. A variety of therapeutic interventions have been utilized in the management of TLGL and Felty syndrome, including methotrexate, cyclosporine A, cyclophosphamide, glucocorticoids, myeloid colony stimulating factors and splenectomy. Their efficacy and mechanisms of action are reviewed.

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