Production of anti-erythrocyte antibodies by leukemic and nonleukemic B cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients

Leuk Lymphoma. 1996 Feb;20(5-6):465-69. doi: 10.3109/10428199609052430.


We have assessed the specificity of antibodies from the leukemic B cells of five patients with both chronic lymphocytic leukemia and autoimmune hemolytic anemia (CLL-AHA). Leukemic cells from one patient displayed surface immunoglobulin with heavy and light chain isotypes identical to that of the patient's anti-red blood cell (RBC) antibodies, and the leukemic cells secreted antibodies in vitro with anti-RBC activity. However, in the remaining patients, the leukemic cells displayed surface immunoglobulin with light chain isotypes different from that of the patient's anti-RBC antibodies and secreted antibodies in vitro with no detectable anti-RBC activity. Thus, there are two distinct classes of CLL-AHA patients, differentiated by the presence or absence of an anti-RBC antibody-producing leukemic B cell clone. The apparent heterogeneity in the source of pathogenic anti-RBC antibodies may impact the treatment response of the two classes of CLL-AHA patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / etiology*
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Erythrocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Light Chain
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / complications
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell