Published March 1, 1985 - More info
The cell surface marker profile and functional analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes from 11 Japanese adult T cell leukemia patients were studied. The phenotypic analysis of Japanese adult T cell leukemia (ATL) cells by a series of 13 monoclonal antibodies showed that all ATL cells are anti-T4 reactive but some differ in their expression of T3, T11, and T12 antigens. Thus, considerable phenotypic heterogeneity exists in these populations of leukemia cells. When analyzed in functional assays, ATL cells were suppressive when added to a pokeweed mitogen- (PWM) driven Ig synthesis system. However, the suppression mechanism seemed to be more complex than originally conceived. ATL cells examined in this study seem to function mainly as an inducer of suppressor cells, and as such, activate normal T8 precursors of suppressor cells rather than function as suppressor effector cells. In addition, no evidence was obtained to suggest that suppression of PWM-stimulated IgG synthesis was mediated by natural killer (NK) activity of ATL cells. Rather, ATL cells seem to be markedly deficient in NK activity. These studies suggest that the majority of ATL cells tested are representative of and seem to be the leukemic counterparts of the T4+ suppressor inducer subset.