Cellular expressions and serum concentrations of Fas ligand and Fas receptor in patients with infectious mononucleosis

Int J Hematol. 2000 Oct;72(3):329-36.


Although lymphocytosis and neutropenia are commonly associated with infectious mononucleosis (IM), the precise mechanisms involved remain unclear. Accumulated evidence has revealed that the apoptosis-mediating system, Fas receptor/Fas ligand (Fas-R/Fas-L), plays an important role in this disease. Recently, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils have been reported to constitutively express Fas-R, and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been shown to activate, in addition to B cells, peripheral blood CD8+ T cells, monocytes, and neutrophils. We elucidated cell surface expression and serum concentrations of Fas-R and Fas-L in patients with IM in an effort to more clearly define the role and contribution of apoptosis in this disease. The expression of lymphocyte surface Fas-L and Fas-R was significantly increased in patients with IM (P < .005 and P < .001, respectively), and among lymphocytes, CD4+ or CD8+ populations contained Fas-R+ as well as Fas-R- subpopulations. The constitutive Fas-R expression levels of monocytes and neutrophils were also increased in IM. Moreover, serum levels of both soluble Fas-L and Fas-R were significantly higher in patients with IM than in healthy volunteers (P < .001 and P < .0001, respectively). Positive relationships between the number of peripheral blood CD95+ lymphocytes and white blood cell count, number of lymphocytes, or number of CD4+ or CD8+ lymphocytes were observed. Our results suggest that the Fas-R/Fas-L system might play a role in eliminating EBV-infected or -activated peripheral blood cells by cell-to-cell contact or in an autocrine and/or paracrine fashion in patients with IM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apoptosis
  • Blood Cells / metabolism
  • Blood Cells / pathology
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / blood*
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / blood*
  • fas Receptor / blood*


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • fas Receptor