Thymic and bone marrow output in patients with common variable immunodeficiency

J Clin Immunol. 2011 Aug;31(4):540-9. doi: 10.1007/s10875-011-9526-6. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Objective: The study aims to obtain more information about the immune deficit of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients.

Materials and methods: A new real-time PCR assay was used to quantify T and B lymphocyte mobilization from the production and maturation sites through the detection of T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) and kappa-deleting recombination circles (KRECs) and to allow the estimation of the average number of B cell divisions. T and B lymphocyte subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry.

Results: The number of TREC(+) lymphocytes, which depends on age and gender, was significantly reduced in CVID patients. Similarly, KREC concentration was lower than in controls. Classification of patients according to the percentage of memory switched B cells showed that patients belonging to MB2 group and therefore with conserved B cell maturation have the lowest new B cell output but increased average peripheral divisions, leading to the highest B cell number.

Conclusions: TREC and KREC quantification can be helpful for a more complete and informative understanding of a heterogeneous disease such as CVID.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / immunology*
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / genetics
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / immunology*
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • IgA Deficiency / immunology
  • IgG Deficiency / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / deficiency
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell