Expression of adhesion molecules on leukemic B cells from chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with predominantly splenic manifestations

Isr Med Assoc J. 2004 Mar;6(3):147-51.


Background: The highly tissue-specific trafficking of normal and malignant lymphocytes to particular organs is mediated by adhesion molecules, or "homing receptors." Among our patients with B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia 15% demonstrate predominantly splenic manifestations and are classified as stage II(S).

Objective: To investigate whether expression of cell surface adhesion molecules can distinguish stage II(S) patients from stage 0 or stage 0 and I CLL patients.

Methods: Expression of adhesion molecules belonging to different families was studied in CD19-positive cells isolated from the blood of 42 patients by dual color flow cytometry. The families included: immunoglobulin superfamily (CD54, CD58), integrin family (beta1, beta2 and beta3 chains, CD11a, CD11c, CD49d), selectin family (L-selectin), and lymphocyte homing receptor family (CD44).

Results: The average percentage of leukemic cells expressing CD11c in the 23 patients with stage II(S) was 25.7 compared with 13.2% in the 14 patients with stage 0 disease (P = 0.047). The average percentage of leukemic cells expressing CD44 in patients with stage II(S) was 90.5 compared with 77.2% in patients with stage 0 (P = 0.007) and 80% in patients with stages 0 and I together (n = 19, P = 0.008). Other adhesion molecules tested did not show a statistically significance difference in expression between the different disease stages.

Conclusions: The higher expression of CD44 and CD11c in cells of CLL patients with predominantly splenic manifestations may account for the tendency of their lymphocytes to home to the spleen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • CD11 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD18 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / complications
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Splenomegaly / complications
  • Splenomegaly / etiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules