Published November 1, 1977 - More info
Erythrocytes coated with varying amounts of human complement were used to detect lymphocytes with complement receptors from normal subjects and patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The relationship between the percentage of lymphocytes rosetting and the quantity of C3 present on complement-coated erythrocytes were studied. Small quantities of C3 (less than 5 fg/erythrocyte) caused maximal rosetting of normal lymphocytes. Maximal rosetting with chronic lymphocytic leukemia lymphocytes was not reached until much greater amounts of C3 were used to coat the erythrocytes. This difference in sensitivity to erythrocyte-bound complement was not due to an increased fraction of complement receptor-bearing cells in the leukemic patients. This loss of sensitivity of the chronic lymphocytic leukemia lymphocyte for complement may play a role in the immune deficiency present in this disease.