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Research Article

T cell receptor gamma and delta rearrangements in hematologic malignancies. Relationship to lymphoid differentiation.

F Griesinger, J M Greenberg and J H Kersey

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.

Published August 1989

We have studied recombinatorial events of the T cell receptor delta and gamma chain genes in hematopoietic malignancies and related these to normal stages of lymphoid differentiation. T cell receptor delta gene recombinatorial events were found in 91% of acute T cell lymphoblastic leukemia, 68% of non-T, non-B lymphoid precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 80% of mixed lineage acute leukemias. Mature B-lineage leukemias and acute nonlymphocytic leukemias retained the T-cell receptor delta gene in the germline configuration. The incidence of T cell receptor gamma and delta was particularly high in CD10+CD19+ non-T, non-B lymphoid precursor ALL. In lymphoid precursor ALL, T cell receptor delta was frequently rearranged while T cell receptor gamma was in the germline configuration. This suggests that TCR delta rearrangements may precede TCR gamma rearrangements in lymphoid ontogeny. In T-ALL, only concordant T cell receptor delta and gamma rearrangements were observed. Several distinct rearrangements were defined using a panel of restriction enzymes. Most of the rearrangements observed in T-ALL represented joining events of J delta 1 to upstream regions. In contrast, the majority of rearrangements in lymphoid precursor ALL most likely represented D-D or V-D rearrangements, which have been found to be early recombinatorial events of the TCR delta locus. We next analyzed TCR delta rearrangements in five CD3+TCR gamma/delta+ ALL and cell lines. One T-ALL, which demonstrated a different staining pattern with monoclonal antibodies against the products of the TCR gamma/delta genes than the PEER cell line, rearranges J delta 1 to a currently unidentified variable region.

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