Persistent oligoclonal CD4dimCD8+T cells in peripheral blood

Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2005 Jul;66(1):10-7. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.20047.


Background: Routine CD4/CD8 T-cell phenotyping may shows a small fraction of CD4dimCD8+ T cells with a homogeneous appearance as described for lymphoproliferative syndromes or chronic infections. The aim of this study was to elucidate the significance of CD4dimCD8+ T cells and their degree of diversity.

Methods: Phenotyping was performed in 272 samples from healthy donors, elderly patients, and immunocompromised (human immunodeficiency virus or renal transplantation) patients.

Results: The CD4dimCD8+ T cells had decreased fluorescence intensity for CD4 but not for CD8. The frequency of patients with CD4dimCD8+ T cells (>20 cells/microl; 10.3% of patients with human immunodeficiency virus and 7.7% with renal transplantation) was not significantly different when compared with healthy donors (9.7%). The CD4dimCD8+ T cells did not express the activation marker CD69. The CD8 of CD4dimCD8+ T cells expressed the heterodimeric (beta) isoform. In 13 of 26 samples, the apparently highly homogeneous CD4dimCD8+ T cells expressed one predominant T-cell receptor Vbeta clonotype. These predominant clonotypes were widely distributed among patients: Vbeta 5.2, 17, 2, 3, 5.1, 13.1, 14, and 20.

Conclusions: Whether these findings demonstrate an oligoclonal reaction to chronic inflammation or an emerging lymphoproliferative disorder must be elucidated in a long-term longitudinal study. By analogy to monoclonal gammopathy, we propose to name this phenomenon "oligoclonal clonopathy of undetermined significance."

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / chemistry*
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / chemistry*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping*
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta