Ilka Bondzio

University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (4)24.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL) is a life-threatening disorder of immune regulation caused by defects in lymphocyte cytotoxicity. Rapid differentiation of primary, genetic forms from secondary forms of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is crucial for treatment decisions. We prospectively evaluated the performance of degranulation assays based on surface up-regulation of CD107a on natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in a cohort of 494 patients referred for evaluation for suspected HLH. Seventy-five of 77 patients (97%) with FHL3-5 and 11 of 13 patients (85%) with Griscelli syndrome type 2 or Chediak-Higashi syndrome had abnormal resting NK-cell degranulation. In contrast, NK-cell degranulation was normal in 14 of 16 patients (88%) with X-linked lymphoproliferative disease and in 8 of 14 patients (57%) with FHL2, who were identified by diminished intracellular SLAM-associated protein (SAP), X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), and perforin expression, respectively. Among 66 patients with a clinical diagnosis of secondary HLH, 13 of 59 (22%) had abnormal resting NK-cell degranulation, whereas 0 of 43 had abnormal degranulation using IL-2-activated NK cells. Active disease or immunosuppressive therapy did not impair the assay performance. Overall, resting NK-cell degranulation below 5% provided a 96% sensitivity for a genetic degranulation disorder and a specificity of 88%. Therefore, degranulation assays allow a rapid and reliable classification of patients, benefiting treatment decisions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) deficiency is a rare genetic disorder of store-operated calcium entry, associated with a complex syndrome including immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation. The link from the molecular defect to these clinical manifestations is incompletely understood. We report two patients with a homozygous R429C point mutation in STIM1 completely abolishing store-operated calcium entry in T cells. Immunological analysis of one patient revealed that despite the expected defect of T cell proliferation and cytokine production in vitro, significant antiviral T cell populations were generated in vivo. These T cells proliferated in response to viral Ags and showed normal antiviral cytotoxicity. However, antiviral immunity was insufficient to prevent chronic CMV and EBV infections with a possible contribution of impaired NK cell function and a lack of NKT cells. Furthermore, autoimmune cytopenia, eczema, and intermittent diarrhea suggested impaired immune regulation. FOXP3-positive regulatory T (Treg) cells were present but showed an abnormal phenotype. The suppressive function of STIM1-deficient Treg cells in vitro, however, was normal. Given these partial defects in cytotoxic and Treg cell function, impairment of other immune cell populations probably contributes more to the pathogenesis of immunodeficiency and autoimmunity in STIM1 deficiency than previously appreciated.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is mainly caused by defects in the CD95 pathway. Raised CD3+TCRαβ+CD4-CD8- double negative T cells and impaired T cell apoptosis are hallmarks of the disease. In contrast, the B cell compartment has been less well studied. We found an altered distribution of B cell subsets with raised transitional B cells and reduced marginal zone B cells, switched memory B cells and plasma blasts in most of 22 analyzed ALPS patients. Moreover, 5 out of 66 ALPS patients presented with low IgG and susceptibility to infection revealing a significant overlap between ALPS and common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). In patients presenting with lymphoproliferation, cytopenia, hypogammaglobulinemia and impaired B cell differentiation, serum biomarkers were helpful in addition to apoptosis tests for the identification of ALPS patients. Our observations may indicate a role for apoptosis defects in some diseases currently classified as CVID.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Clinical Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is a genetic disorder of lymphocyte cytotoxicity that usually presents in the first two years of life and has a poor prognosis unless treated by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Atypical courses with later onset and prolonged survival have been described, but no detailed analysis of immunological parameters associated with typical versus atypical forms of familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis has been performed. We analyzed disease manifestations, NK-cell and T-cell cytotoxicity and degranulation, markers of T-cell activation and B-cell differentiation as well as Natural Killer T cells in 8 patients with atypical familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis due to mutations in UNC13D and STXBP2. All but one patient with atypical familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis carried at least one splice-site mutation in UNC13D or STXBP2. In most patients episodes of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis were preceded or followed by clinical features typically associated with immunodeficiency, such as chronic active Epstein Barr virus infection, increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, granulomatous lung or liver disease, encephalitis or lymphoma. Five of 8 patients had hypogammaglobulinemia and reduced memory B cells. Most patients had a predominance of activated CD8(+) T cells and low numbers of Natural Killer T cells. When compared to patients with typical familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, NK-cell cytotoxicity and NK-cell and CTL degranulation were impaired to a similar extent. However, in patients with an atypical course NK-cell degranulation could be partially reconstituted by interleukin-2 and cytotoxic T-cell cytotoxicity in vitro was normal. Clinical and immunological features of atypical familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis show an important overlap to primary immunodeficiency diseases (particularly common variable immunodeficiency and X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome) and must, therefore, be considered in a variety of clinical presentations. We show that degranulation assays are helpful screening tests for the identification of such patients.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Haematologica