T cell receptor VB repertoire diversity in patients with immune thrombocytopenia following splenectomy
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
In recent years, a pathophysiological role for T cells in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) has been established. We applied cDNA size distribution analysis of the T cell receptor (TCR) beta-variable (VB) complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) in order to investigate T cell repertoire diversity among immune thrombocytopenia patients who had either responded or not responded to splenectomy, and compared them to normal controls. ITP patients who had had a durable platelet response to splenectomy showed a mean 2.8 +/- 2.1 abnormal CDR3 size patterns per patient, similar to healthy volunteers (2.9 +/- 2.0 abnormal CDR3 size patterns). In contrast, patients unresponsive to splenectomy demonstrated evidence of significantly more clonal T cell expansions than patients who had responded to splenectomy or controls (11.3 +/- 3.3 abnormal CDR3 size patterns per patient; P < 0.001). Of the VB subfamilies analysed, VB3 and VB15 correlated with response or non-response to splenectomy, each demonstrating oligoclonality in non-responding patients (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that removal of the spleen may lead directly or indirectly to reductions in T cell clonal expansions in responders, or that the extent of T cell clonality impacts responsiveness to splenectomy in patients with ITP.