Send to

Choose Destination
Cytometry. 1998 Jun 1;32(2):109-19.

Impaired expression and function of signal-transducing zeta chains in peripheral T cells and natural killer cells in patients with prostate cancer.

Author information

Coulter Corporation, Miami, Florida 33196, USA.


Detection of functional, circulating T cells and NK cells may serve as a clinical test for the selection of individuals who can benefit from immunotherapy. Incidence of the T-cell receptor zeta (TCRdelta) chain within these populations appears to correlate with adequate effector cell function. In patients with advanced malignancy, the absence or reduced expression of delta chain has been documented. Flow cytometric analysis in the present study revealed a significant reduction in delta chain expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) of 14 of 22 prostate cancer patients (P < 0.000001) as compared to normal donors, apparent in both T cells (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+), and NK (CD16+) cells. Compared to normal donor PBL, patient PBL cultured in the presence of CD3 and CD28, also demonstrated reduced expression of CD69 and/or CD25, and in some cases, failed to activate at all. Furthermore, evidence of cell proliferation in activation-stimulated patient PBL was muted: average PCNA positivity equaled 14%, a marked difference from what was observed in normal donors (P < 0.0002). In 8 of 16 samples of PBL, where delta expression was originally low, delta levels returned to the normal range after 48 hour culture in serum-free medium, suggesting that the loss of delta is reversible and may be caused by a tumor-derived substance. These data support the premise that monitoring the expression of delta in a cancer patient may provide a unique insight into the immune status and functionality of the individual, with the potential to redirect or augment therapies and ultimately alter prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center