Immunophenotypic and gene expression analysis of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis shows biologic characteristics associated with good prognosis CLL.
ABSTRACT: Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a hematologic condition wherein small B-cell clones can be detected in the blood of asymptomatic individuals. Most MBL have an immunophenotype similar to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and 'CLL-like' MBL is a precursor to CLL. We used flow cytometry to identify MBL from unaffected members of CLL kindreds. We identified 101 MBL cases from 622 study subjects; of these, 82 individuals with MBL were further characterized. In all, 91 unique MBL clones were detected: 73 CLL-like MBL (CD5(+)CD20(dim)sIg(dim)), 11 atypical MBL (CD5(+)CD20(+)sIg(+)) and 7 CD5(neg) MBL (CD5(neg)CD20(+)sIg(neg)). Extended immunophenotypic characterization of these MBL subtypes was performed, and significant differences in cell surface expression of CD23, CD49d, CD79b and FMC-7 were observed among the groups. Markers of risk in CLL such as CD38, ZAP70 and CD49d were infrequently expressed in CLL-like MBL, but were expressed in the majority of atypical MBL. Interphase cytogenetics was performed in 35 MBL cases, and del 13q14 was most common (22/30 CLL-like MBL cases). Gene expression analysis using oligonucleotide arrays was performed on seven CLL-like MBL, and showed activation of B-cell receptor associated pathways. Our findings underscore the diversity of MBL subtypes and further clarify the relationship between MBL and other lymphoproliferative disorders.
Project description:Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a preclinical hematologic syndrome characterized by small accumulations of CD5(+) B lymphocytes. Most MBL share phenotypic characteristics with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although some MBL progress to CLL, most MBL have apparently limited potential for progression to CLL, particularly those MBL with normal absolute B-cell counts ('low-count' MBL). Most CLL are monoclonal and it is not known whether MBL are monoclonal or oligoclonal; this is important because it is unclear whether MBL represent indolent CLL or represent a distinct premalignant precursor before the development of CLL. We used flow cytometry analysis and sorting to determine immunophenotypic characteristics, clonality and molecular features of MBL from familial CLL kindreds. Single-cell analysis indicated four of six low-count MBL consisted of two or more unrelated clones; the other two MBL were monoclonal. 87% of low-count MBL clones had mutated immunoglobulin genes, and no immunoglobulin heavy-chain rearrangements of V(H) family 1 were observed. Some MBL were diversified, clonally related populations with evidence of antigen drive. We conclude that although low-count MBL share many phenotypic characteristics with CLL, many MBL are oligoclonal. This supports a model for step-wise development of MBL into CLL.
Project description:Recently the minor B cell subpopulation that expresses the CD5 (Leu-1) antigen has been implicated as a source of IgM autoantibodies. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia in humans, represents a malignancy of small B lymphocytes that also express the CD5 antigen. However, little is known concerning the antibody variable region genes (V genes) that are used by these malignant CD5 B cells. We have found that a relatively high frequency of CLL patients have leukemic B cells with surface immunoglobulin (sIg) recognized by 17.109, a murine mAb specific for a kappa light chain associated crossreactive idiotype (CRI) associated with rheumatoid factor and other IgM autoantibodies. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that the relative expression of the 17.109-CRI by circulating leukemic B cells was directly proportional to the levels of sIg kappa light chain, indicating that there exists stable idiotype expression in the leukemic population. To examine this at the molecular level, the nucleic acid sequences encoding the Ig kappa light chains of two unrelated patients with CLL bearing sIg with the 17.109-CRI were determined. Analyses of multiple independent kappa light chain cDNA clones did not reveal any evidence for sequence heterogeneity in the CLL cell population. Furthermore, the nucleic acid sequences expressed by the leukemic cells of these two patients were identical or very homologous to a germline V kappa gene isolated from placental DNA, designated Humkv 325, or "V kappa RF" because of its association with IgM autoantibodies. This study suggests; (a) that the malignant CD5+ B lymphocytes in CLL use the same V kappa gene that has been highly associated with IgM autoantibodies and (b) that the expression of V genes is stable in CLL, in contrast to other B cell malignancies examined to date. We propose that many CLL cases represent malignancies of autoreactive CD5 B cells that use a restricted set of conserved V genes. This property may render CLL particularly amenable to immunotherapy with antiidiotypic antibodies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Deletion 13q14.3 is the most common cytogenetic abnormality in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Previously it was reported that miR-15/16 is the target of 13q14 deletions and plays a tumor suppressor role by suppressing Bcl-2. Therefore, Bcl-2 expression was examined more closely to determine whether it would predict 13q14 deletion status. METHODS:A multi-color flow panel consisting of anti-Bcl-2/anti-lambda/anti-kappa/CD19/CD5/CD3/CD20 was performed. The ability of Bcl-2 to predict 13q14 deletion was tested using the conventional Bcl-2 index (c-index): mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CLL clone/MFI of residual T cells. Fifty-four untreated CLL/MBL patients were studied. Bimodal Bcl-2 expression was evaluated to test the ability of Bcl-2 to detect intraclonal heterogeneity. Other CLL prognostic markers including CD38, CD49d, CD26, and CD69 were evaluated. FISH was performed on selected sorted populations. RESULTS:The Bcl-2 c-index strongly predicts del13q14 P < 0.0001. A statistically significant association was observed between the percentage of cells carrying the deletion and the level of Bcl-2 expression P < 0.05. Cells sorted based on Bcl-2 expression showed enrichment of both hemizygous and homozygous del 13q14 cells. Also, we observed that an alteration in Bcl-2 level over time predicts changes in 13q14 deletion status. And a statistically significant correlation between the bimodal pattern of CD69 expression and the presence of 13q14 deletion was found P < 0.0001. CONCLUSION:Bcl-2 expression using the c-index strongly predicts 13q14 deletion and can be used to distinguish homozygous, heterozygous, and diploid CLL clonal cells. Further systematic studies of this biomarker are needed for confirmation and expansion of these findings.
Project description:The failure of chemotherapeutic regimens to eradicate cancers often results from the outgrowth of minor subclones with more dangerous genomic abnormalities or with self-renewing capacity. To explore such intratumor complexities in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we measured B-cell kinetics in vivo by quantifying deuterium ((2)H)-labeled cells as an indicator of a cell that had divided. Separating CLL clones on the basis of reciprocal densities of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) and cluster designation 5 (CD5) revealed that the CXCR4(dim)CD5(bright) (proliferative) fraction contained more (2)H-labeled DNA and hence divided cells than the CXCR4(bright)CD5(dim) (resting) fraction. This enrichment was confirmed by the relative expression of two cell cycle-associated molecules in the same fractions, Ki-67 and minichromosome maintenance protein 6 (MCM6). Comparisons of global gene expression between the CXCR4(dim)CD5(bright) and CXCR4(bright)CD5(dim) fractions indicated higher levels of pro-proliferation and antiapoptotic genes and genes involved in oxidative injury in the proliferative fraction. An extended immunophenotype was also defined, providing a wider range of surface molecules characteristic of each fraction. These intraclonal analyses suggest a model of CLL cell biology in which the leukemic clone contains a spectrum of cells from the proliferative fraction, enriched in recently divided robust cells that are lymphoid tissue emigrants, to the resting fraction enriched in older, less vital cells that need to immigrate to lymphoid tissue or die. The model also suggests several targets preferentially expressed in the two populations amenable for therapeutic attack. Finally, the study lays the groundwork for future analyses that might provide a more robust understanding of the development and clonal evolution of this currently incurable disease.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by an accumulation of mature CD19(+)CD5(+)CD20(dim) B lymphocytes that typically express the B-cell activation marker CD23. In the present study, we cloned and expressed in T lymphocytes a novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting the CD23 antigen (CD23.CAR). CD23.CAR(+) T cells showed specific cytotoxic activity against CD23(+) tumor cell lines (average lysis 42%) and primary CD23(+) CLL cells (average lysis 58%). This effect was obtained without significant toxicity against normal B lymphocytes, in contrast to CARs targeting CD19 or CD20 antigens, which are also expressed physiologically by normal B lymphocytes. Moreover, CLL-derived CD23.CAR(+) T cells released inflammatory cytokines (1445-fold more TNF-?, 20-fold more TNF-?, and 4-fold more IFN-?). IL-2 was also produced (average release 2681 pg/mL) and sustained the antigen-dependent proliferation of CD23.CAR(+) T cells. Redirected T cells were also effective in vivo in a CLL Rag2(-/-)?(c)(-/-) xenograft mouse model. Compared with mice treated with control T cells, the infusion of CD23.CAR(+) T cells resulted in a significant delay in the growth of the MEC-1 CLL cell line. These data suggest that CD23.CAR(+) T cells represent a selective immunotherapy for the elimination of CD23(+) leukemic cells in patients with CLL.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Screening of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) has improved the early detection of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (B-LPDs). This study was designed to find the most cost-effective way to screen for asymptomatic B-LPD. DESIGN:Observational study. SETTING:A lymphocytosis screening project was conducted at a large-scale hospital among the Chinese population. PARTICIPANTS:For 10 consecutive working days in 2018, 22 809 adult patients who received a complete blood count (CBC) were reviewed. These patients were selected from the outpatient, inpatient and health examination departments of a National Medical Centre in China. RESULTS:A total of 254 patients (1.1%, 254/22 809) were found to have lymphocytosis (absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) >3.5×109/L). Among them, a population of circulating monoclonal B-lymphocytes were detected in 14 patients, with 4 having chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and 10 having MBL, indicating an overall prevalence of 5.5% for B-LPD (3.9% for MBL). The prevalence of CLL among the elderly patients with lymphocytosis (?60 years) was determined to be 4.3% (4/92). In the patients over 60 years of age, the prevalence of MBL was found to be 8.7%. CD5 (-) non-CLL-like MBL was observed to be the most common subtype (8, 80%), followed by CLL-like phenotype (1, 10.0%) and atypical CLL phenotype (1, 10.0%). The receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for the CBC results revealed that the ALC of 4.7×109/L may serve as the optimal and cost-effective cut-off for screening for early-stage asymptomatic B-LPD. CONCLUSION:In Chinese patients with lymphocytosis, there was a relatively high proportion of patients with CLL among individuals over 60 years of age. MBL is an age-related disorder. Non-CLL-like MBL was the most common MBL subtype, almost all of whom displayed a pattern of 'marginal zone lymphoma (MZL)-like' MBL. Lymphocytosis screening among the elderly would be effective in the detection of B-LPD and MBL.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells express the receptor for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and can be infected in vitro. Infected cells do not express the growth-promoting set of EBV-encoded genes and therefore they do not yield LCLs, in most experiments. With exceptional clones, lines were obtained however. We describe a new line, HG3, established by in vitro EBV-infection from an IGHV1-2 unmutated CLL patient clone. All cells expressed EBNA-2 and LMP-1, the EBV-encoded genes pivotal for transformation. The karyotype, FISH cytogenetics and SNP-array profile of the line and the patient's ex vivo clone showed biallelic 13q14 deletions with genomic loss of DLEU7, miR15a/miR16-1, the two micro-RNAs that are deleted in 50% of CLL cases. Further features of CLL cells were: expression of CD5/CD20/CD27/CD43 and release of IgM natural antibodies reacting with oxLDL-like epitopes on apoptotic cells (cf. stereotyped subset-1). Comparison with two LCLs established from normal B cells showed 32 genes expressed at higher levels (> 2-fold). Among these were LHX2 and LILRA. These genes may play a role in the development of the disease. LHX2 expression was shown in self-renewing multipotent hematopoietic stem cells, and LILRA4 codes for a receptor for bone marrow stromal cell antigen-2 that contributes to B cell development. Twenty-four genes were expressed at lower levels, among these PARD3 that is essential for asymmetric cell division. These genes may contribute to establish precursors of CLL clones by regulation of cellular phenotype in the hematopoietic compartment. Expression of CD5/CD20/CD27/CD43 and spontaneous production of natural antibodies may identify the CLL cell as a self-renewing B1 lymphocyte.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-like monoclonal B lymphocytosis (MBL) with (MBL(hi)) or without (MBL(lo)) absolute B-lymphocytosis precedes most CLL cases,the specific determinants for malignant progression remaining unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For this purpose, simultaneous iFISH and molecular analysis of well-established cytogenetic alterations of chromosomes 11, 12, 13, 14 and 17 together with the pattern of rearrangement of the IGHV genes were performed in CLL-like cells from MBL and CLL cases. Our results based on 78 CLL-like MBL and 117 CLL clones from 166 subjects living in the same geographical area, show the existence of three major groups of clones with distinct but partially overlapping patterns of IGHV gene usage, IGHV mutational status and cytogenetic alterations. These included a group enriched in MBL(lo) clones expressing specific IGHV subgroups (e.g. VH3-23) with no or isolated good-prognosis cytogenetic alterations, a second group which mainly consisted of clinical MBL(hi) and advanced stage CLL with a skewed but different CLL-associated IGHV gene repertoire (e.g. VH1-69), frequently associated with complex karyotypes and poor-prognosis cytogenetic alterations, and a third group of clones with intermediate features, with prevalence of mutated IGHV genes, and higher numbers of del(13q)(+) clonal B-cells. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that the specific IGHV repertoire and IGHV mutational status of CLL-like B-cell clones may modulate the type of cytogenetic alterations acquired, their rate of acquisition and/or potentially also their clinical consequences. Further long-term follow-up studies investigating the IGHV gene repertoire of MBL(lo) clones in distinct geographic areas and microenvironments are required to confirm our findings and shed light on the potential role of some antigen-binding BCR specificities contributing to clonal evolution.
Project description:Heterogeneity of CD20 expression exists in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), therefore, we explored the prognostic significance of CD20 expression in Chinese patients with CLL. Multiparameter flow cytometry was used to detect the expression of CD20 in CD5(+) CD19(+) cells. In 172 CLL patients, the median expression percent of CD20 was 97.82% (range, 0-100), and the median mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CD20 in CLL cells was 731.45 (range, 0.00-9071.90). The percentage of CD20(+) cells in the patient group with mutated variable region of immunoglobulin genes (IGHV) was higher than in the non-mutant IGHV group (mean, 92.1% vs 80.4%, P < 0.001). There were no differences in the MFI of CD20(+) cells in all prognostic factor groups. Representation of the data using a receiver operating characteristic plot reflected separation between the two IGHV groups, with an area under the curve of 0.661 (95% confidence interval, 0.569-0.753). At the cut-off value of 60.3% for percentage of CD20, the sensitivity and specificity were 90.00% and 38.46%, respectively. Patients whose percentage of CD20 antigen was above 60.3% had longer treatment-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.452; 95% confidence interval, 0.232-0.884, P = 0.020). Percentage and MFI of CD20 were the variables not associated with treatment-free survival by multivariate Cox regression analysis (P < 0.05). High level of CD20 expression in de novo CLL appears to be associated with a good prognosis.
Project description:Analysis of the T cell receptor (TR) repertoire of chronic lymphocytic leukemia-like monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (CLL-like MBL) and early stage CLL is relevant for understanding the dynamic interaction of expanded B cell clones with bystander T cells. Here we profiled the T cell receptor ? chain (TRB) repertoire of the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell fractions from 16 CLL-like MBL and 13 untreated, Binet stage A/Rai stage 0 CLL patients using subcloning analysis followed by Sanger sequencing. The T cell subpopulations of both MBL and early stage CLL harbored restricted TRB gene repertoire, with CD4+ T cell clonal expansions whose frequency followed the numerical increase of clonal B cells. Longitudinal analysis in MBL cases revealed clonal persistence, alluding to persistent antigen stimulation. In addition, the identification of shared clonotypes among different MBL/early stage CLL cases pointed towards selection of the T cell clones by common antigenic elements. T cell clonotypes previously described in viral infections and immune disorders were also detected. Altogether, our findings evidence that antigen-mediated TR restriction occurs early in clonal evolution leading to CLL and may further increase together with B cell clonal expansion, possibly suggesting that the T cell selecting antigens are tumor-related.