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Open access

Corina Maria Cianga, Ion Antohe, Mihaela Zlei, Daniela Constantinescu and Petru Cianga

Abstract

Introduction. Several alternative methods to peripheral blood DNA extraction have been implemented so far. Saliva seems to represent a very advantageous type of sample, easy to harvest and able to generate DNA yields comparable to those extracted from blood mononuclear cells.

Material and methods. 8 patients suspected of ankylosing spondylitis, 9 patients with various hematological malignancies, displaying post-chemotherapy leucopenia and 30 healthy volunteers were included in our study. DNA was extracted with various commercially available kits and used for HLA typing either by PCR amplification, or by PCR followed by hybridization.

Results. Our data regarding HLA typing support already published results regarding the good DNA quality that allows its use in various molecular biology techniques. However, when attempting to use saliva from immunosuppressed patients for DNA extraction we have generated very low yields, comparable again with the ones obtained from peripheral blood. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry investigations confirmed the low number of leukocytes present in the saliva of these patients, while the number of epithelial cells was virtually unchanged.

Conclusions. The main source of saliva DNA seems to be represented by leukocytes present in this fluid and not by the epithelial cells. Under these circumstances, for immunosuppressed patients saliva cannot represent an alternative to blood when attempting DNA extraction.

Open access

Georgiana Emilia Grigore, Iuliu C. Ivanov, Mihaela Zlei, Angela Dăscălescu, Roxana Popescu, Tudor Petreuș and Eugen Carasevici

Abstract

Traffic of tumor- and normal cells through the peripheral blood (PB) of patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) to the lymph nodes (LN) or spleen/ liver sites is governed by specific changes in surface and intracellular molecule expression. The study aims to investigate the potential association between different lymphocyte subsets, chemokine receptors or genetic alterations and specific clinical signs in a group of B-CLL patients. Forty-three patients were included in the study. The expression of CCR7, CXCR5, CXCR3, CCR4, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD27, CD28, CD45RA, CD25, CD127, CD38 was tested by multiparameter flow cytometry. Genetic alterations were determined by MLPA. We found increased frequency of CD38+ B-CLL cells directly correlated with the presence of LN>5cm. CXCR5 and CCR7 are homogenously expressed by monoclonal B-CLL cells. CCR4+ B-CLL cell frequency is found to be lower in the PB of patients presenting particular LN involvement. Heterogeneous and complex genetic alterations were found and only the presence of trisomy 12 associated with less frequent axillary LN involvement. We also report a significant increase in the frequency of total T cells and T cell subsets (effector- and central memory CD4+ T cells, regulatory T cells, follicular T helper cells, distinct functional CD8+ T cells) with the occurrence of specific clinical manifestations. Chemokine receptor expression on circulating CD4+ T cell subsets was augmented in connection to some specific LN locations. Consequently, clinical manifestations in B-CLL are linked to both, factors intrinsic to the monoclonal B cells, and external influences coming from the microenvironment.

Open access

Iuliu C. Ivanov, Daniela Jitam, Georgiana E. Grigore, Mihaela Zlei, Anca V. Ivanov, Silvia Dumitraş, Eugen Carasevici and Ingritli C. Miron

Abstract

Background. A high occurrence of translocation t(4;11)(q21;q23) was reported in infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) leading to the fusion of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene on chromosome 11 and the AF4 gene on chromosome 4. More than 50 distinct MLL-AF4 types of fusion have been previously identified, none of those reported matching the peculiarities found in an infant ALL case to be reported below. Materials and methods. Molecular tests were performed for the detection of TEL-AML1, BCR-ABL(p190), E2A-PBX1, and MLL-AF4 in the peripheral blood sample of a 21 days new-born boy suspected of ALL. An unexpected MLL-AF4 fragment was identified, further purified, and later analyzed by sequencing. Flow cytometry analyses were carried out at diagnosis and relapse on a FACSCanto-II cytometer (Becton-Dickinson). Results. The patient was found to be positive for the MLL-AF4 transcript, with an uncommonly long-sized product and a previously undescribed sequence (in-frame fusion between exon 12 of MLL and exon 4 of the AF4 gene). The immunophenotypic analyses also showed a particular development: while at diagnosis a dominant malignant clone displaying a B lymphoid precursor phenotype was described, at relapse a malignant monocytoid population predominantly expanded. The presence of MLL-AF4 e12-e4 transcript was still manifest at relapse, without other transcript characteristic for myeloid lineage. Conclusions. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a MLL-AF4 rearrangement revealing this complex transcript with new breakpoints in MLL. Its early detection may predict an immunophenotypic switch and may assist the clinicians in designing optimized therapies.

Open access

Georgiana E. Grigore, Angela Dascalescu, Mihaela Zlei, Iuliu C. Ivanov, Catalin Danaila, Tudor Petreus and Eugen Carasevici

Abstract

Background/aim: T lymphocytes are important players of the immune response. B-CLL is characterized by several immune defects. Our study aims to characterize the distinct maturational and functional T/NK cell subsets within B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia disease Rai stages. Patients and methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 43 patients enrolled in the study (16 females and 27 males, aged 68±10, 8 Rai 0, 22 Rai 1/2 and 13 Rai 3/4) were analyzed by multiparameter flow cytometry. Distinct subsets within the CD4+ (naive, central memory, effector/peripheral memory, regulatory-Tregs, follicular-TFH, CXCR3+ and/or CCR4+), CD8+ (naive+memory, effector, senescent) and NK (CD57+ and/or CD94+) were identified and compared between disease Rai stages. Results: Total numbers of T lymphocytes increase with disease stage. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are elevated in absolute counts. The majority of CD4+ T cells are antigen-experienced, with increased Tregs, TFH and CXCR3+ (Th1-associated profile) T cell counts. The CD8+ T cells expansion is due mostly to the senescent CD57+ subset. No significant difference within NK subsets was observed among different disease stages. Conclusions: B-CLL behaviour seems to be associated with increased numbers of TFH and Tregs. The therapeutic modulation of T cell response in B-CLL patients may play an important role in the disease behaviour and may be a key event compensating for the immunodeficiency occurring mostly in advanced stages of the disease.

Open access

Elena Popa, Florin Zugun-Eloae, Mihaela Zlei, Daniela Jitaru, Oana Maria Pintilie, Adorata Elena Coman, Maria Traian, Didona Anca Ungureanu and Eugen Carasevici

Abstract

Introduction. Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of distinct metabolic alterations with an increased cardiovascular risk. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor - Alpha (PPARα), member of the nuclear receptor superfamily of transcription factors, is critically involved in the management of lipid metabolism during homeostasis or inflammatory stresses in various cell types and represents one of the therapeutic targets in MS. We analysed the PPARα expression in leukocytes of pacients with MS, in order to address PPARα involvement in these group of diseases. Material and method. Our study included 57 adult patients recruited under informed voluntary consent, investigated in order to establish whether they present MS, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) European guidelines and grouped in 2 lots: the MS Lot (26 patients) and control group, non-MS Lot (31 subjects). Common clinical and laboratory parameters targeted in MS evaluation were determined for all the studied cases. The expression levels of 2 molecules, PPARα and CD36 were evaluated in various circulating leukocyte populations of these patients by an optimized flow cytometry method. Statistic analysis clarifying the significance of value differences for various parameters measured was performed under SPSS and simple statistical tests (Pearson, t-Student, Chi -test). Results and discussion. The fluorescence staining for PPARα were significantly dimmer when comparing the cellular expression in eosinophils (p<0.05) of MS versus the Control group of subjects. Conclusions: Our study is the first to show that circulating eosinophils display significantly reduced PPARα protein expression in MS patients. The differences in key molecule expression in circulating leukocytes (like PPAR species, CD36, and other) might be evocatory for the endothelial dysfunction and obesity and might be of use in the therapeutic decision.

Open access

Roxana Popescu, Angela Dăscălescu, Cătălin Dănăilă, Doramina Ghiorghiu, Mihaela Zlei, Anca Ivanov, Adriana Sireteanu, Eusebiu Vlad Gorduza and Doina Azoicăi

Abstract

The coexistence of t(9;22) and inv(16) has been described in a very limited number of cases of CML, de novo or therapy-related AML. We report a patient with CML who presented both inversion of chromosome 16 and Philadelphia chromosome and evolved towards the blast phase under treatment with Imatinib. Laboratory diagnosis and monitoring was made by flow cytometry, conventional cytogenetics and molecular genetics techniques. The inv(16), detected by karyotyping in the Philadelphia chromosome positive clone at the moment of the blast transformation, was retrospectively assessed by means of real-time PCR, and was proved to have been present since diagnosis. The bone marrow biopsy performed in the blast phase of CML confirmed the presence of blasts belonging to the myeloid lineage, with indications of monocytic differentiation, frequently associated with inv(16). Moreover, the case also associated a F359V tyrosine kinase domain mutation, resulting in intermediate resistance to Imatinib and Nilotinib, which imposed therapy-switch to Dasatinib. In our case the evolution was progressive, followed by death due to lack of response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, 18 months after diagnosis. The coexistence of t(9;22) and inv(16) in CML seems to be associated with an aggressive clinical evolution and resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Due to the very small number of cases described in literature, therapeutic decisions are still difficult for patients displaying these abnormalities

Open access

Ion Antohe, Angela Dăscălescu, Cătălin Dănăilă, Mihaela Zlei, Iuliu Ivanov, Adriana Sireteanu, Oana Boca, Raluca Oană and Petru Cianga

Abstract

Background: Acute basophilic leukemia is a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukemia, as categorized by the 2008 World Health Organization classification of myeloid neoplasms. Acute basophilic leukemia diagnosis requires thorough morphological, cytochemical, immunophenotypic, molecular, and cytogenetic studies and exclusion of other hematological neoplasms associating basophilia. The disease course is defined by histamine driven, occasionally life-threatening respiratory, cardiovascular, cutaneous or digestive complications, as well as primary refractoriness to standard therapy. Clinical presentation: We herein report a case of a 63-year-old asthmatic female patient diagnosed with acute basophilic leukemia, associated with previously unpublished cytogenetic features and FLT-3 ITD mutation, pulmonary leukostasis and spontaneous pulmonary capillary leak syndrome, which worsened immediately following chemotherapy initiation. Respiratory complications were successfully managed, but recrudesced upon emergence of refractory disease and were ultimately fatal. We highlight the likelihood of pulmonary complications induced by basophil degranulation and tumor lysis in hypercellular acute basophilic leukemia and the potential benefit of histamine receptor blockade in this setting.