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Br J Haematol. 2008 Nov;143(3):383-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07363.x. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Significantly shorter telomeres in T-cells of patients with ZAP-70+/CD38+ chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

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Department of Haematology, University Hospital, Essen, Germany.


In contrast to other B-cell neoplasias, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is characterized by increased non-leukaemic T-cells. In order to assess their replicative history, telomere length was analyzed in subsets of leucocytes from CLL patients. Naive and memory T-cells from ZAP-70(+)/CD38(+) patients exhibited significantly shorter average telomere lengths than ZAP-70(-)/CD38(-) patients. Compared to the age-related percentiles of telomere length values from healthy individuals practically all values of the naive and memory T-cells from the ZAP-70(+)/CD38(+) CLL patients fell below the 50th percentile. This indicated an extensive expansion and a role for T-cells in ZAP-70(+)/CD38(+) CLL patients.

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