Prostaglandin synthesis and T lymphocyte colony formation have been examined in previously untreated patients with Hodgkin's disease. Mononuclear cells have been isolated from peripheral blood and spleens of these patients. Significant augmentation in prostaglandin E levels were noted in the mononuclear cell cutures from Hodgkin's disease patients compared with controls (1.64 +/- 0.29 vs. 0.39 +/- 0.09 ng/10(6) cells, P < 0.005). Measured prostaglandin E levels increased with advancing stage of disease. Virtually all of the prostaglandins were synthesized by the adherent monocyte cell population. Prostaglandin E was the major product. Clonal expansion of a T lymphocyte precursor cell, which gives rise to colonies > 50 cells, was determined by a layered soft agar method. T colony formation was significantly reduced in patients with stage II, III, and IV disease. There were progressively reduced colony numbers seen with advancing stage of disease (609 +/- 209, 416 +/- 158, 207 +/- 58 compared with normals 2,274 +/- 360 colonies/10(6) cells plated; P < 0.005). The addition of inhibitors of endogenous prostaglandin synthesis resulted in significant augmentation of T colony number. However, a consistent relative decrease in T colony number was seen even when endogenous prostaglandin E synthesis was blocked. It would appear that both the prostaglandin-dependent and independent T colony precursor cells are lost with progressive stage of disease. A causative role of augmented prostaglandin synthesis in this stage-dependent reduction of T colony formation could not be established.
R S Bockman