Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome misdiagnosed as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
ABSTRACT: Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a rare inherited disorder of apoptosis, most commonly due to mutations in the FAS (TNFRSF6) gene. It presents with chronic lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and symptomatic multilineage cytopenias in an otherwise healthy child. Unfortunately, these clinical findings are also noted in other childhood lymphoproliferative conditions, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, which can confound the diagnosis. This report describes a 6-year-old girl with symptoms misdiagnosed as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and treated with chemotherapy before the recognition that her symptoms and laboratory values were consistent with a somatic FAS mutation leading to ALPS. This case should alert pediatricians to include ALPS in the differential diagnosis of a child with lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and cytopenias; obtain discriminating screening laboratory biomarkers, such as serum vitamin B-12 and ferritin levels; and, in the setting of a highly suspicious clinical scenario for ALPS, pursue testing for somatic FAS mutations when germ-line mutation testing is negative.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is caused by genetic defects decreasing Fas function and is characterized by lymphadenopathy/splenomegaly and expansion of CD4/CD8 double-negative T cells. This latter expansion is absent in the ALPS variant named Dianzani Autoimmune/lymphoproliferative Disease (DALD). In addition to the causative mutations, the genetic background influences ALPS and DALD development. We previously suggested a disease-modifying role for the perforin gene involved in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL). The UNC13D gene codes for Munc13-4, which is involved in perforin secretion and FHL development, and thus, another candidate for a disease-modifying role in ALPS and DALD. In this work, we sequenced UNC13D in 21 ALPS and 20 DALD patients and compared these results with sequences obtained from 61 healthy subjects and 38 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. We detected four rare missense variations in three heterozygous ALPS patients carrying p.Cys112Ser, p.Val781Ile, and a haplotype comprising both p.Ile848Leu and p.Ala995Pro. Transfection of the mutant cDNAs into HMC-1 cells showed that they decreased granule exocytosis, compared to the wild-type construct. An additional rare missense variation, p.Pro271Ser, was detected in a healthy subject, but this variation did not decrease Munc13-4 function. These data suggest that rare loss-of-function variations of UND13D are risk factors for ALPS development.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a disorder of disrupted lymphocyte homeostasis, resulting from mutations in the Fas apoptotic pathway. Clinical manifestations include lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and autoimmune cytopenias. A number of new insights have improved the understanding of the genetics and biology of ALPS. These will be discussed in this review.A number of key observations have been made recently that better define the pathophysiology of ALPS, including the characterization of somatic FAS variant ALPS, the identification of haploinsufficiency as a mechanism of decreased Fas expression, and the description of multiple genetic hits in FAS in some families that may explain the variable penetrance of the disease. In addition, ALPS has been shown to be a more common condition, as patients diagnosed with other disorders, including Evans syndrome and common variable immune deficiency, have been found to have ALPS. Finally, the treatment of the disease has changed as splenectomy and rituximab have been shown to have unexpected ALPS-specific toxicities, and mycophenolate mofetil and sirolimus have been demonstrated to have marked activity against the disease.On the basis of novel advances, the diagnostic algorithm and recommended treatment for ALPS have changed significantly, improving quality of life for many patients.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is characterized by childhood onset of lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, autoimmune cytopenias, elevated numbers of double-negative T (DNT) cells, and increased risk of lymphoma. Most cases of ALPS are associated with germline mutations of the FAS gene (type Ia), whereas some cases have been noted to have a somatic mutation of FAS primarily in their DNT cells. We sought to determine the proportion of patients with somatic FAS mutations among a group of our ALPS patients with no detectable germline mutation and to further characterize them. We found more than one-third (12 of 31) of the patients tested had somatic FAS mutations, primarily involving the intracellular domain of FAS resulting in loss of normal FAS signaling. Similar to ALPS type Ia patients, the somatic ALPS patients had increased DNT cell numbers and elevated levels of serum vitamin B(12), interleukin-10, and sFAS-L. These data support testing for somatic FAS mutations in DNT cells from ALPS patients with no detectable germline mutation and a similar clinical and laboratory phenotype to that of ALPS type Ia. These findings also highlight the potential role for somatic mutations in the pathogenesis of nonmalignant and/or autoimmune hematologic conditions in adults and children.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) presents in childhood with nonmalignant lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly associated with a characteristic expansion of mature CD4 and CD8 negative or double negative T-cell receptor αβ(+) T lymphocytes. Patients often present with chronic multilineage cytopenias due to autoimmune peripheral destruction and/or splenic sequestration of blood cells and have an increased risk of B-cell lymphoma. Deleterious heterozygous mutations in the FAS gene are the most common cause of this condition, which is termed ALPS-FAS. We report the natural history and pathophysiology of 150 ALPS-FAS patients and 63 healthy mutation-positive relatives evaluated in our institution over the last 2 decades. Our principal findings are that FAS mutations have a clinical penetrance of <60%, elevated serum vitamin B12 is a reliable and accurate biomarker of ALPS-FAS, and the major causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients are the overwhelming postsplenectomy sepsis and development of lymphoma. With longer follow-up, we observed a significantly greater relative risk of lymphoma than previously reported. Avoiding splenectomy while controlling hypersplenism by using corticosteroid-sparing treatments improves the outcome in ALPS-FAS patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00001350.
Project description:The autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is characterized by early-onset lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, immune cytopenias, and an increased risk for B cell lymphomas. Most ALPS patients harbor mutations in the FAS gene, which regulates lymphocyte apoptosis. These are commonly missense mutations affecting the intracellular region of the protein and have a dominant-negative effect on the signaling pathway. However, analysis of a large cohort of ALPS patients revealed that ?30% have mutations affecting the extracellular region of FAS, and among these, 70% are nonsense, splice site, or insertions/deletions with frameshift for which no dominant-negative effect would be expected. We evaluated the latter patients to understand the mechanism(s) by which these mutations disrupted the FAS pathway and resulted in clinical disease. We demonstrated that most extracellular-region FAS mutations induce low FAS expression due to nonsense-mediated RNA decay or protein instability, resulting in defective death-inducing signaling complex formation and impaired apoptosis, although to a lesser extent as compared with intracellular mutations. The apoptosis defect could be corrected by FAS overexpression in vitro. Our findings define haploinsufficiency as a common disease mechanism in ALPS patients with extracellular FAS mutations.
Project description:Lymphadenopathy in children for which no infectious or malignant cause can be ascertained constitutes a challenging diagnostic dilemma. Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a human genetic disorder of lymphocyte apoptosis resulting in an accumulation of lymphocytes and childhood onset chronic lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, multilineage cytopenias, and an increased risk of B-cell lymphoma. In 1999, investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggested criteria to establish the diagnosis of ALPS. Since then, with approximately 500 patients with ALPS studied worldwide, significant advances in our understanding of the disease have prompted the need for revisions to the existing diagnostic criteria and classification scheme. The rationale and recommendations outlined here stem from an international workshop held at NIH on September 21 and 22, 2009, attended by investigators from the United States, Europe, and Australia engaged in clinical and basic science research on ALPS and related disorders. It is hoped that harmonizing the diagnosis and classification of ALPS will foster collaborative research and better understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune cytopenias and B-cell lymphomas.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) represents a failure of apoptotic mechanisms to maintain lymphocyte homeostasis, permitting accumulation of lymphoid mass and persistence of autoreactive cells that often manifest in childhood with chronic nonmalignant lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and recurring multilineage cytopenias. Cytopenias in these patients can be the result of splenic sequestration as well as autoimmune complications manifesting as autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and autoimmune neutropenia. More than 300 families with hereditary ALPS have now been described; nearly 500 patients from these families have been studied and followed worldwide over the last 20 years by our colleagues and ourselves. Some of these patients with FAS mutations affecting the intracellular portion of the FAS protein also have an increased risk of B-cell lymphoma. The best approaches to diagnosis, follow-up, and management of ALPS, its associated cytopenias, and other complications resulting from infiltrative lymphoproliferation and autoimmunity are presented.
Project description:Autoimmune diseases develop in approximately 5% of humans. They can arise when self-tolerance checkpoints of the immune system are bypassed as a consequence of inherited mutations of key genes involved in lymphocyte activation, survival, or death. For example, autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) results from defects in self-tolerance checkpoints as a consequence of mutations in the death receptor-encoding gene TNF receptor superfamily, member 6 (TNFRSF6; also known as FAS). However, some mutation carriers remain asymptomatic throughout life. We have now demonstrated in 7 ALPS patients that the disease develops as a consequence of an inherited TNFRSF6 heterozygous mutation combined with a somatic genetic event in the second TNFRSF6 allele. Analysis of the patients' CD4(-)CD8(-) (double negative) T cells--accumulation of which is a hallmark of ALPS--revealed that in these cells, 3 patients had somatic mutations in their second TNFRSF6 allele, while 4 patients had loss of heterozygosity by telomeric uniparental disomy of chromosome 10. This observation provides the molecular bases of a nonmalignant autoimmune disease development in humans and may shed light on the mechanism underlying the occurrence of other autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Defective lymphocyte apoptosis results in chronic lymphadenopathy and/or splenomegaly associated with autoimmune phenomena. The prototype for human apoptosis disorders is the autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), which is caused by mutations in the FAS apoptotic pathway. Recently, patients with an ALPS-like disease called RAS-associated autoimmune leukoproliferative disorder, in which somatic mutations in NRAS or KRAS are found, also were described. Despite this progress, many patients with ALPS-like disease remain undefined genetically. We identified a homozygous, loss-of-function mutation in PRKCD (PKC?) in a patient who presented with chronic lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, autoantibodies, elevated immunoglobulins and natural killer dysfunction associated with chronic, low-grade Epstein-Barr virus infection. This mutation markedly decreased protein expression and resulted in ex vivo B-cell hyperproliferation, a phenotype similar to that of the PKC? knockout mouse. Lymph nodes showed intense follicular hyperplasia, also mirroring the mouse model. Immunophenotyping of circulating lymphocytes demonstrated expansion of CD5+CD20+ B cells. Knockdown of PKC? in normal mononuclear cells recapitulated the B-cell hyperproliferative phenotype in vitro. Reconstitution of PKC? in patient-derived EBV-transformed B-cell lines partially restored phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced cell death. In summary, homozygous PRKCD mutation results in B-cell hyperproliferation and defective apoptosis with consequent lymphocyte accumulation and autoantibody production in humans, and disrupts natural killer cell function.
Project description:Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a disorder of abnormal lymphocyte survival caused by defective Fas-mediated apoptosis, leading to lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and an increased number of double-negative T cells (DNTs). Treatment options for patients with ALPS are limited. Rapamycin has been shown to induce apoptosis in normal and malignant lymphocytes. Since ALPS is caused by defective lymphocyte apoptosis, we hypothesized that rapamycin would be effective in treating ALPS. We tested this hypothesis using rapamycin in murine models of ALPS. We followed treatment response with serial assessment of DNTs by flow cytometry in blood and lymphoid tissue, by serial monitoring of lymph node and spleen size with ultrasonography, and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibodies. Three-dimensional ultrasound measurements in the mice correlated to actual tissue measurements at death (r = .9648). We found a dramatic and statistically significant decrease in DNTs, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and autoantibodies after only 4 weeks when comparing rapamycin-treated mice with controls. Rapamycin induced apoptosis through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. We compared rapamycin to mycophenolate mofetil, a second-line agent used to treat ALPS, and found rapamycin's control of lymphoproliferation was superior. We conclude that rapamycin is an effective treatment for murine ALPS and should be explored as treatment for affected humans.