T Cell Leukemias: ATL and T-LGL

Multi-clonal expansion of unique human T-lymphotropic virus type-I-infected T cells with high growth potential in response to interleukin-2 in prodromal phase of adult T cell leukemia

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Abstract

We established a simple IL-2-dependent colony-forming assay for T cells infected with human T-lymphotropic virus type-I (HTLV-I). IL-2-dependent cell lines were subsequently established by expanding individual colonies in liquid cultures. Lymphocyte-rich fractions were prepared from 31 HTLV-I carriers, 12 patients with smoldering ATL, 11 chronic ATL, 12 crisis ATL and 10 acute ATL. Primary colonies of CD4+ p19+ T cells were formed in all cases of carriers, smoldering and chronic ATL, and in 10 of 12 crisis cases. In contrast, no colony was formed from cells of patients with acute ATL. The rate of establishment of cell lines in HTLV-I carriers was significantly lower than that in patients of prodromal phase ATL. Cell lines established from cells of three prodromal cases were clonally identical to the parent ATL cells, while others had clonally distinct cell lines. Our results indicated the presence of four components of HTLV-I-infected T cells: (1) normal carrier T cells capable of forming colonies but not cell lines; (2) pre-malignant T cells capable of forming colonies as well as cell lines; (3) malignant T cells capable of forming colonies as well as cell lines; (4) fully malignant T cells unresponsive to IL-2. Our results suggest the presence of a multiclonal expansion of unique T cells in the prodromal phase of ATL, which have a high growth potential in response to IL-2. The coexistence of multiclonality with a dominant ATL clone may be closely related to the underlying pathology in HTLV-I leukemogenesis.

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Correspondence to T Hata.

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Hata, T., Fujimoto, T., Tsushima, H. et al. Multi-clonal expansion of unique human T-lymphotropic virus type-I-infected T cells with high growth potential in response to interleukin-2 in prodromal phase of adult T cell leukemia. Leukemia 13, 215–221 (1999) doi:10.1038/sj.leu.2401271

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Keywords

  • HTLV-I carriers
  • ATL
  • IL-2
  • T cell colonies
  • T cell lines

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