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Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2011 Aug;11(4):367-72. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2011.06.005.

CD39 expression on T lymphocytes correlates with severity of disease in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Research Service, Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, NY 10010, USA.



Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a B-cell disorder, but it is also associated with abnormalities in T-lymphocyte function. In this study we examine changes in T-lymphocyte CD39 and CD73 expression in patients with CLL.


Blood samples were drawn from 34 patients with CLL and 31 controls. The cells were stained for CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD39, and CD73 and analyzed by flow cytometry.


Overall, patients with CLL had a higher percentage of CD39(+) T lymphocytes than did controls. The percentage of cells expressing CD39 was higher in both CD4(+) cells and CD8(+) cells. Higher CD3/CD39 expression was associated with a later disease stage. No correlations between T-lymphocyte CD39 levels and CD38 or Zap-70 expression were observed. In contrast, the percentage of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes that expressed CD73 was decreased in patients with CLL. Average B-lymphocyte CD73 expression was decreased in CLL because the majority of CLL clones were CD73. However a minority of CLL clones were CD73(+), and patients with CD73(+) clones tended to have earlier stage disease.


T-lymphocyte CD39 and CD73 expression may be useful prognostic markers in patients with CLL. Expression of CD73 on the malignant cell population in CLL may be a marker of better prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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