The development of lymphomas in families with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome with germline Fas mutations and defective lymphocyte apoptosis

Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 07/2001; 98(1):194-200. DOI: 10.1182/blood.V98.1.194
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lymphomas were studied in kindreds with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS; Canale-Smith syndrome), a disorder of lymphocyte homeostasis usually associated with germline Fas mutations. Fas (CD95/APO-1) is a cell surface receptor that initiates programmed cell death, or apoptosis, of activated lymphocytes. Lymphoma phenotype was determined by immunohistochemistry, frequency of CD3(+)CD4(-)CD8(-) T-cell-receptor alpha/beta cells by flow cytometry, nucleotide sequences of the gene encoding Fas (APT1, TNFRSF6), and the percentage of lymphocytes undergoing apoptosis in vitro. Of 223 members of 39 families, 130 individuals possessed heterozygous germline Fas mutations. Eleven B-cell and T-cell lymphomas of diverse types developed in 10 individuals with mutations in 8 families, up to 48 years after lymphoproliferation was first documented. Their risk of non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas, respectively, was 14 and 51 times greater than expected (each P <.001). Investigation of these 10 patients and their relatives with Fas mutations revealed that all had defective lymphocyte apoptosis and most had other features of ALPS. The tumor cells retained the heterozygous Fas mutations found in the peripheral blood and manifested defective Fas-mediated killing. These data implicate a role for Fas-mediated apoptosis in preventing B-cell and T-cell lymphomas. Inherited defects in receptor-mediated lymphocyte apoptosis represent a newly appreciated risk factor for lymphomas.

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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is characterized by immune dysregulation due to a defect in lymphocyte apoptosis. The clinical manifestations may be noted in multiple family members and include lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, increased risk of lymphoma, and autoimmune disease, which typically involves hematopoietic cell lines manifesting as multilineage cytopenias. Since the disease was first characterized in the early 1990s, there have been many advances in the diagnosis and management of this syndrome. The inherited genetic defect of many ALPS patients has involved (FAS) pathway signaling proteins, but there remain those patients who carry undefined genetic defects. Despite ALPS having historically been considered a primary immune defect presenting in early childhood, adult onset presentation is increasingly becoming recognized and more so in genetically undefined patients and those with somatic FAS mutations. Thus, future research may identify novel pathways and/or regulatory proteins important in lymphocyte activation and apoptosis.
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