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Concept: Lymphocyte


Metastasis through the bloodstream contributes to poor prognosis in many types of cancer. Mounting evidence implicates selectin-based adhesive interactions between cancer cells and the blood vessel wall as facilitating this process, in a manner similar to leukocyte trafficking during inflammation. Here, we describe a unique approach to target and kill colon and prostate cancer cells in the blood that causes circulating leukocytes to present the cancer-specific TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) on their surface along with E-selectin adhesion receptor. This approach, demonstrated in vitro with human blood and also in mice, mimics the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells and increases the surface area available for delivery of the receptor-mediated signal. The resulting “unnatural killer cells” hold promise as an effective means to neutralize circulating tumor cells that enter blood with the potential to form new metastases.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Blood, Blood vessel, Prostate cancer


Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disease of unknown etiology. We previously reported a pilot case series followed by a small, randomized, placebo-controlled phase II study, suggesting that B-cell depletion using the monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab can yield clinical benefit in ME/CFS.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Medicine, Clinical trial, The Canon of Medicine, Leukemia, Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, Chronic fatigue syndrome


Hairy cell leukemia is a mature B-cell non-Hogkin lymphoma characterized by unique clinical, morphological and immunhistochemical features. Patients with hairy cell leukemia usually present with splenomegaly, progressive pancytopenia and a relative indolent clinical course. The diagnosis does not always indicate immediate treatment, as treatment depends on the clinical stage of the leukemia. Asymptomatic disease without progression requires a watchful waiting policy, while other categories usually need treatment. The treatment of choice is purin nucleosid analogues (pentostatin, cladribine) which can achieve complete remission even for decades. Interferon and monoclonal CD20 antibodies can also significantly prolong tevent free survival. Unfortunately, only the latter two therapies are easily available in Hungary. Splenectomy, which was suggested as first line treatment before the era of purin nucleosid analogues, is only recommended as ultimum refugium. Although hairy cell leukemia is a well-defined lymphoproliferative disease, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate it from other similar entities such as hairy cell leukema variant, splenic marginal zone lymphoma, small lymphocytic lymphoma etc. Making the correct diagnosis is of utmost importance because of the great difference in treatment modalities. Recently, a somatic mutation was found in all analysed hairy cell leukemia samples, but not in other splenic B-cell lymphomas. This article reviews the significance of this observation and presents the different types of methods for the detection of this mutation. Orv. Hetil., 2013, 154, 123-127.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Cancer, Types of cancer, Hematology, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Blood disorders, Hairy cell leukemia


Upon infection, B-lymphocytes expressing antibodies specific for the intruding pathogen develop clonal responses triggered by pathogen recognition via the B-cell receptor. The constant region of antibodies produced by such responding clones dictates their functional properties. In teleost fish, the clonal structure of B-cell responses and the respective contribution of the three isotypes IgM, IgD and IgT remain unknown. The expression of IgM and IgT are mutually exclusive, leading to the existence of two B-cell subsets expressing either both IgM and IgD or only IgT. Here, we undertook a comprehensive analysis of the variable heavy chain (VH) domain repertoires of the IgM, IgD and IgT in spleen of homozygous isogenic rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) before, and after challenge with a rhabdovirus, the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV), using CDR3-length spectratyping and pyrosequencing of immunoglobulin (Ig) transcripts. In healthy fish, we observed distinct repertoires for IgM, IgD and IgT, respectively, with a few amplified μ and τ junctions, suggesting the presence of IgM- and IgT-secreting cells in the spleen. In infected animals, we detected complex and highly diverse IgM responses involving all VH subgroups, and dominated by a few large public and private clones. A lower number of robust clonal responses involving only a few VH were detected for the mucosal IgT, indicating that both IgM(+) and IgT(+) spleen B cells responded to systemic infection but at different degrees. In contrast, the IgD response to the infection was faint. Although fish IgD and IgT present different structural features and evolutionary origin compared to mammalian IgD and IgA, respectively, their implication in the B-cell response evokes these mouse and human counterparts. Thus, it appears that the general properties of antibody responses were already in place in common ancestors of fish and mammals, and were globally conserved during evolution with possible functional convergences.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Protein, Bacteria, Infection, B cell, Viral hemorrhagic septicemia


BACKGROUND: Serum free light chain analysis is now well established in the investigation of monoclonal gammopathies. In the UK there has, until recently, been a single supplier of kits for such analysis. Recently, a second method using monoclonal antisera was introduced. We have compared the performance of these two kits in four routine laboratories. METHOD: Samples submitted for routine analysis (327 samples, 258 [79%] from patients with B-cell lymphoproliferative disease) for serum free light chains were tested by both technologies (Freelite, Binding Site and N Latex FLC, Siemens), according to the manufacturers' instructions. RESULTS: Qualitative data were available by both methods on 313 samples for serum free kappa chains and 324 samples for lambda free light chains. We found poor correspondence of 81% for kappa and 74% for lambda. Five percent of samples were significantly discordant in these assays. CONCLUSIONS: These assays perform very differently in clinical practice. They cannot be used interchangeably, especially if monitoring patient responses to therapy.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Diseases and disorders, Lymphoproliferative disorders, Immunoglobulin light chain


Natural killer (NK) cells represent a key component of the innate immune system against cancer. Nevertheless, malignant diseases arise in immunocompetent individuals despite tumor immunosurveillance. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is characterized by CD30+ tumor cells and a massive infiltration of immune effector cells in affected lymph nodes. The latter obviously fail to eliminate the malignant cell population. Here, we tested for functional NK cell defects in HL and suggest an improvement of NK function by therapeutic means. We demonstrate that peripheral NK cells (pNK) from patients with HL fail to eliminate HL cell lines in ex vivo killing assays. Impaired NK cell function correlated with elevated serum levels of soluble ligands for NK cell receptors NKp30 (BAG6/BAT3) and NKG2D (MICA), factors known to constrict NK cell function. In vitro, NK cell cytotoxicity could be restored by an NKG2D/NKp30-independent bispecific antibody construct (CD30xCD16A). It artificially links the tumor receptor CD30 with the cytotoxicity NK cell receptor CD16A. Moreover, we observed that NK cells from patients treated with this construct were generally activated and displayed a restored cytotoxicity against HL target cells. These data suggest that reversible suppression of NK cell activity contributes to immune evasion in HL and can be antagonized therapeutically.Molecular Therapy (2013); doi:10.1038/mt.2013.14.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Protein, Cancer, Innate immune system, Natural killer cell, Cytotoxicity


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) constitutes a collection of lymphoproliferative disorders with widely varying biologic, histologic and clinical features. For the B-cell NHLs, great progress has been made due to the addition of monoclonal antibodies and, more recently, other novel agents such as B-cell receptor signaling inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, and proteasome inhibitors. Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT) offers the promise of cure or prolonged remission in some NHL patients. For some patients, however, auto-HCT may never be a viable option, while in others their disease may progress despite auto-HCT. In those settings, allogeneic HCT (allo-HCT) offers the potential for cure. Over the past 10-15 years, considerable progress has been made in the implementation of allo-HCT, such that this approach now is a highly effective therapy for patients up to (and even beyond) age 75. Recent advances in conventional lymphoma therapy, peri-transplant supportive care, patient selection, and donor selection (including the use of alternative hematopoietic cell donors), has allowed broader application of allo-HCT to NHL patients. As a result, an ever-increasing number of NHL patients over age 60-65 years stand to benefit from allo-HCT. In this review, we present data in support of the use of allo-HCT for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. These histologies account for a large majority of allo-HCT performed for patients over 60 in the U.S. Where possible, we highlight available data in older patients. This body of literature strongly supports the concept that allo-HCT should be offered to fit patients well beyond age 65 and, accordingly, that this treatment should therefore be covered by their insurance carriers.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Types of cancer, Lymphoma, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Follicular lymphoma, Lymphoproliferative disorders, Mantle cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma


Heat stress results in a multitude of biological and physiological responses which can become lethal if not properly managed. It has been shown that heat stress causes significant adverse effects in both human and animals. Different approaches have been proposed to mitigate the adverse effects caused by heat stress, among which are special diet and probiotics. We characterized the effect of the yeast fermentate EpiCor (EH) on the prevention of heat stress-related complications in rats. We found that increasing the body temperature of animals from 37.1±0.2 to 40.6±0.2°C by exposure to heat (45°C for 25min) resulted in significant morphological changes in the intestine. Villi height and total mucosal thickness decreased in heat-stressed rats pre-treated with PBS in comparison with control animals not exposed to the heat. Oral treatment of rats with EH before heat stress prevented the traumatic effects of heat on the intestine. Changes in intestinal morphology of heat-stressed rats, pre-treated with PBS resulted in significant elevation of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) level in the serum of these animals. Pre-treatment with EH was effective in the prevention of LPS release into the bloodstream of heat-stressed rats. Our study revealed that elevation of body temperature also resulted in a significant increase of the concentration of vesicles released by erythrocytes in rats, pre-treated with PBS. This is an indication of a pathological impact of heat on the erythrocyte structure. Treatment of rats with EH completely protected their erythrocytes from this heat-induced pathology. Finally, exposure to heat stress conditions resulted in a significant increase of white blood cells in rats. In the group of animals pre-treated with EH before heat stress, the white blood cell count remained the same as in non-heated controls. These results showed the protective effect of the EH product in the prevention of complications, caused by heat stress.

Concepts: Immune system, White blood cell, Monocyte, Lymphocyte, Blood, Red blood cell, Physiology, Bone marrow


The mechanosensing ability of lymphocytes regulates their activation in response to antigen stimulation, but the underlying mechanism remains unexplored. Here, we report that B cell mechanosensing-governed activation requires BCR signaling molecules. PMA-induced activation of PKCβ can bypass the Btk and PLC-γ2 signaling molecules that are usually required for B cells to discriminate substrate stiffness. Instead, PKCβ-dependent activation of FAK is required, leading to FAK-mediated potentiation of B cell spreading and adhesion responses. FAK inactivation or deficiency impaired B cell discrimination of substrate stiffness. Conversely, adhesion molecules greatly enhanced this capability of B cells. Lastly, B cells derived from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients exhibited an altered BCR response to substrate stiffness in comparison with healthy controls. These results provide a molecular explanation of how initiation of B cell activation discriminates substrate stiffness through a PKCβ-mediated FAK activation dependent manner.

Concepts: Lymphocyte, Protein, Enzyme, B cell, Rheumatoid arthritis, T cell, Focal adhesion, Discrimination


Regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer and disease recurrence. Yet the mechanisms behind this protection remain to be elucidated. In this study, tumor-bearing mice randomized to voluntary wheel running showed over 60% reduction in tumor incidence and growth across five different tumor models. Microarray analysis revealed training-induced upregulation of pathways associated with immune function. NK cell infiltration was significantly increased in tumors from running mice, whereas depletion of NK cells enhanced tumor growth and blunted the beneficial effects of exercise. Mechanistic analyses showed that NK cells were mobilized by epinephrine, and blockade of β-adrenergic signaling blunted training-dependent tumor inhibition. Moreover, epinephrine induced a selective mobilization of IL-6-sensitive NK cells, and IL-6-blocking antibodies blunted training-induced tumor suppression, intratumoral NK cell infiltration, and NK cell activation. Together, these results link exercise, epinephrine, and IL-6 to NK cell mobilization and redistribution, and ultimately to control of tumor growth.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymphocyte, Antibody, Cancer, Oncology, Natural killer cell, T cell, Cytotoxicity