Lymphocytotoxic T lymphocytes in a patient with B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia and pure red cell aplasia

Neil Elliot Kay, Martin M. Oken, Joao Ascensao, Manuel E. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The peripheral blood T cells of a hypertransfused patient with B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia and pure red cell aplasic were found to exhibit unusual spontaneous cytotoxic activity in vitro. The patient's E-rosette positive cells were cytotoxic for K562 (cultured human crythroleukemia cells) and allogeneic B and T lymphocytes freshly isolated from the peripheral blood of normal and CLL donors. They failed to kill autologous B cells, erythroid progenitors present in allogeneic bone marrow, and a number of cultured human tumor cells (Malme, CAKI) even after prolonged (36 h) co-culture. Peripheral blood T cells isolated from normal controls, other CLL patients, and hypertransfused individuals (n=13) (lid not exhibit spontaneous lymphocytotoxic activity. Circulating cytotoxic T cells having the ability to kill freshly isolated allogeneic lymphocytes have, heretofore, not been reported in humans. Our findings suggest that among this patient's peripheral blood T cells, there exists a subpopulation of lymphocytotoxic cells that closely resemble cytotoxic T cells generated in vitro after priming with allogeneic target cells. Although the lymphocytotoxic cells could have been induced in this patient by previous HLA-mismatched transfusions, it is possible they may have arisen spontaneously and underly the patient's erythroblastopenic state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1194
Number of pages6
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes



  • CLL
  • Lymphocytotoxic
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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