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Leuk Res. 1989;13(5):377-83.

Immunohistological assessment of bone marrow biopsies from patients with hairy cell leukemia: changes following treatment with alpha-2-interferon and deoxycoformycin.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Innsbruck, Austria.


Forty-six bone marrow biopsies from twelve hairy cell leukemia (HCL) patients, treated with either interferon(IFN)-alpha-2 (n = 8) or 2'deoxycoformycin(DCF) (n = 4), were examined using cryostat sections and an immunoperoxidase technique. Using this sensitive method we were able to demonstrate residual hairy cell (HC) infiltration in five cases, in which evaluation with conventional staining techniques on plastic embedded biopsies revealed complete remission. The amount of HCs in these five samples ranged from 1 to 7% (mean: 3%) of bone marrow cells. Consecutive biopsies in individual HCL patients revealed no changes of the immunological phenotype (CD19, CD22, CD25, CD10, CD11c, FMC7, HLA-DR, surface immunoglobulins) during IFN and DCF treatment. Within the infiltrated bone marrow a considerable number of "reactive" T lymphocytes was identified with prevalence of the T-helper (CD4+) subtype in untreated cases, whereas T-suppressor/cytotoxic (CD8+) cells were within the normal range. IFN treatment resulted in a reduction of CD4+ T lymphocytes (p less than 0.02). Minor alterations of CD8+ T lymphocytes and NK cells (HNK-1 + lymphoid cells) were found in bone marrow during IFN treatment. In DCF-treated patients bone marrow T lymphocytes were markedly reduced below the values of normal bone marrow. This DCF-induced T-cell depression might be related to the clinical observation of persistent cellular immune dysfunctions in HCL patients despite a DCF-induced remission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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