Severe and selective deficiency of interferon-gamma-producing invariant natural killer T cells in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes

Br J Haematol. 2003 Aug;122(4):617-22. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.2003.04465.x.


Here we show that patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) have a severe deficiency of glycolipid reactive Valpha24+/Vbeta11+ natural killer T (NKT) cells, but not NK cells or CD4+ or CD8+ T cells. Neither the blood nor marrow of MDS patients had detectable interferon-gamma-producing NKT cells in response to the NKT ligand, alpha-galactosyl ceramide, although influenza-virus-specific effector T-cell function was preserved. This severe and selective deficiency of an important immune regulatory cell may contribute to the pathogenesis of MDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Interferon-gamma