Few published studies characterize early lymphocyte recovery after intensive chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). To test the hypothesis that lymphocyte recovery mirrors ontogeny, we characterized early lymphocyte recovery in 20 consecutive patients undergoing induction timed sequential chemotherapy for newly diagnosed AML. Recovering T lymphocytes were predominantly CD4+ and included a greatly expanded population of CD3+CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells. Recovering CD3+CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells were phenotypically activated regulatory T cells and showed suppressive activity on cytokine production in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. Despite an initial burst of thymopoiesis, most recovering regulatory T cells were peripherally derived. Furthermore, regulatory T cells showed marked oligoclonal skewing, suggesting that their peripheral expansion was antigen-driven. Overall, lymphocyte recovery after chemotherapy differs from ontogeny, specifically identifying a peripherally expanded oligoclonal population of activated regulatory T lymphocytes. These differences suggest a stereotyped immunologic recovery shared by patients with newly diagnosed AML after induction timed sequential chemotherapy. Further insight into this oligoclonal regulatory T-cell population will be fundamental toward developing effective immunomodulatory techniques to improve survival for patients with AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology