Decreased functional T lymphocyte-mediated cytokine responses in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia
Article first published online: 7 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine
Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 274, Issue 4, pages 363–370, October 2013
How to Cite
Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm; Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Mabtech AB, Nacka Strand, Sweden). Decreased functional T lymphocyte-mediated cytokine responses in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. J Intern Med 2013; 274: 363–370., , , , , . (
- Issue published online: 10 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 7 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 22 JUN 2013 05:21AM EST
- Stockholm County Council /Karolinska Institutet
- the Swedish Society of Medicine
- the Clas Groschinsky Foundation
- the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation
- the Karolinska Institutet Infection Network
- T cell
The degree of immunosuppression in patients with haematological malignancies treated with chemotherapy is routinely measured as number of circulating cells (preferable neutrophils) in peripheral blood. A parallel decline in the number of T cells is expected, but a possible alteration in their functionality has been less well explored. The ability of T cells to secrete more than one cytokine simultaneously is known to indicate protective immunity. The aim of this study was to determine whether the function of circulating T cells is altered in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia.
Design, setting and subjects
In this cross-sectional study, we used the FluoroSpot assay to investigate the proportion of T cells secreting either interferon-γ or interleukin-2, or both cytokines simultaneously, after anti-CD3 stimulation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 53 adult patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and 20 healthy individuals were investigated.
There were significantly fewer T cells secreting interferon-γ in patients with neutropenia compared with healthy control subjects (P = 0.02), but the difference was greatest for dual cytokine-secreting T cells (P = 0.001). Furthermore, the amount of secreted cytokine per T cell appeared to be reduced in patients, compared with control subjects.
Our results suggest that the functionality of T cells is altered in patients with haematological malignancies with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. In parallel with a decline in T cell count, this may further increase the risk of severe infections.