Clonal analysis of bcr-abl rearrangement in T lymphocytes from patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.Blood 1992; 79(4):1017-23Blood
The cytogenetic hallmark of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1), which reflects a chromosomal translocation t(9;22) and a rearrangement of the ABL and bcr genes. This marker is found in all cells arising from the same malignant precursor cell and can be detected in CML cells of the myeloid, monocytic, erythroid, and B-lymphocyte lineage. It is, however, controversial as to whether T lymphocytes of CML patients carry this gene rearrangement. An answer to this question would clarify whether the translocation in CML occurs in a pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell or in a precursor cell already committed to certain lineages, but not the T-cell lineage. To address this question, we established T-cell clones from peripheral venous blood cells of four patients with CML and screened these clones for bcr-abl fusion transcripts by means of polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analysis. In four T-cell clones of three of these patients, the bcr-abl transcript could be detected. None of 12 T-cell clones of the fourth patient disclosed detectable bcr-abl amplification product. Both CD4+ as well as CD8+ clones displayed fused bcr-abl sequences. These data imply that in CML some but not all T lymphocytes may originate from the Ph1-positive stem cell.