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Hematology - Immunology - Oncology - Pathology - Pediatrics and Child Health

A Soluble Form of CTLA-4 Is Present in Paediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and Correlates with CD1d+ Expression
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Author: Rita Simone et al.

by Rita Simone, Claudya Tenca, Franco Fais, Matteo Luciani, Giulio De Rossi, Giampaola Pesce, Marcello Bagnasco, Daniele Saverino

CTLA-4 is a key factor in regulating and maintaining self tolerance, providing a negative signal to the T cell and thus limiting immune responses. Several polymorphisms within the CTLA-4 gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases and, very recently, with susceptibility to human cancer. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a clonal disorder of lymphoid progenitors representing the most frequent malignancy of childhood. Here, we show the presence at significantly elevated levels of a circulating soluble form of CTLA-4 in 70% of B-ALL pediatric patients with active disease, the positive correlation between the percentage of leukemic B lymphocytes and the amount of serum sCTLA-4, and the expression of sCTLA-4 transcript by B cells in patients. Finally, a correlation between CD1d expression (a negative prognostic marker) and the sCTLA-4 in B-ALL patients was observed. This suggests a possible role of this soluble molecule as a marker of progression or severity of the neoplastic disease.