Lymphocyte subpopulations from patients with primary antibody deficiency do not show increased telomere erosion

Immunobiology. 2004;208(5):455-62. doi: 10.1078/0171-2985-00292.


Telomere erosion and residual replicative capacity can be used as markers of the replicative history of somatic cells. We have investigated telomere length, in vitro replicative capacity and rate of telomere erosion in T and B lymphocyte populations from patients with primary antibody deficiency requiring immunoglobulin replacement therapy. We found no significant differences in telomere lengths of B cells, or of CD4+, CD8+, CD45RA+ (naive) and CD45RO+ (memory) T cell populations between patients and age matched controls. Overall, telomere length correlated inversely with age, and was reduced in memory (CD45RO+) as compared with naive (CD45RA+) T cells. In vitro long-term (6 months) cell cultures showed no differences between patients and controls in the mitogen-stimulated replicative potential of T cell subpopulations (CD4+, CD8+, CD45RA+, CD45RO+), or in the rates of telomere erosion with cellular replication in these cell populations. The rate of telomere erosion per population doubling in CD45RA+ cells, however, was greater than in CD45RO+ cells in both patients and controls. These data suggest that premature immune exhaustion is unlikely to represent a long-term complication of primary antibody deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / metabolism
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / microbiology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Telomere / immunology
  • Telomere / metabolism