Leukaemic T cells from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia of T-cell origin respond to Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin superantigens
Metzger, R.; Melmer, G.; Schondelmaier, S.; Heckl-Ostreicher, B.; Nerl, C.; Pechhold, K.; Epplen, J.T.; Kabelitz, D.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 37(2): 245-250
ISSN/ISBN: 0300-9475 PMID: 8434235 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1993.tb01762.x
We investigated the in vitro responsiveness of peripheral blood lymphocytes from two patients with T-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (T-CLL) to Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin (SE) superantigens. T-cell receptor (TcR) alpha beta (V beta 7.1)-expressing CD4+ leukaemic T cells from patient HE (white blood cell count 480,000/microliters) proliferated in response to SEA and, only at 1000-fold higher concentrations, to SEB, SED, and SEE. CD4+CD8+ TcR alpha beta (V beta 12.1)-expressing leukaemic T cells from patient KO (white blood cell count 120,000/microliters) were activated by SEB but not by the other tested SEs. In both instances, the activation of leukaemic T cells by SE was dependent on the presence of HLA-DR+ cells. Southern blot analysis of TcR beta gene rearrangement confirmed that the proliferating cells were derived from the leukaemic T-cell clone and not from contaminating normal T cells. These data indicate that leukaemic T cells from patients with T-CLL exert a clonally variable responsiveness to SE superantigens. We conclude that recognition of specific antigen and subsequent signal transduction can be initiated via the TcR of leukaemic T-CLL cells.