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Ann Med Interne (Paris). 1987;138(5):366-8.

[Demonstration of complex dysregulation of anti-cytomegalovirus T-cellular immunity in Kaposi's sarcoma following renal transplantation].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire de Transplantation d'Organes, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Kremlin-Bicêtre.


An increased incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma is well known in renal transplant recipients in whom it may represent up to 3 p. 100 of all de novo tumours. This sarcoma has a close relationship with the potential oncogenicity of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) and with chronic immunological deficiency. Anti-CMV immunity is based on the integrity of cytotoxic cellular functions such as those of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), "natural killers" cells, and K cells which function in the antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) system. Two cases of Kaposi's sarcoma were observed out of a total of 700 renal transplant recipients; they underwent the following investigations: lymphocyte sub-group counts by murine monoclonal antibodies, lymphocyte proliferation to lectins and allogenic cells, NK activity and generation of specific auxiliary and cytotoxic anti-CMV cells. Both cases of Kaposi's sarcoma were seropositive for CMV and seronegative for LAV. In one case, an abnormal number of peripheral OKT9 + lymphocytes (normally a thymocytic marker) was observed with small numbers of OKT4/OKT8, a reduced proliferative response to mitogens and allogenic cells. All these in vitro changes persisted despite reduction of immunosuppressive therapy and clinical improvement. A clinical and biological cure was only obtained after withdrawal of immunosuppressive therapy and return to haemodialysis. In the second case of Kaposi's sarcoma, the initial biochemical changes were minimal and a clinical cure was obtained by decreasing the immunosuppressive therapy. These two cases illustrate the complex dysregulation of the immune system in Kaposi's sarcoma.

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