Department of Immunology, University Hospital Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In order to gain insight into immunoglobulin (Ig) and T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we studied 48 adult patients: 26 with precursor-B-ALL and 22 with T-ALL. Southern blotting (SB) with multiple DNA probes for the IGH, IGK, TCRB, TCRG, TCRD and TAL1 loci revealed rearrangement patterns largely comparable to pediatric ALL, but several differences were found for precursor-B-ALL patients. Firstly, adult patients showed a lower level of oligoclonality in the IGH gene locus (five out of 26 patients; 19%) despite a comparable incidence of IGH gene rearrangements (24 out of 26 patients; 92%). Secondly, all detected IGK gene deletions (n = 12) concerned rearrangements of the kappa deleting element (Kde) to Vkappa gene segments, which represent two-thirds of the Kde rearrangements in pediatric precursor-B-ALL and only half of the Kde rearrangements in mature B cell leukemias. Thirdly, a striking predominance of immature Ddelta2-Ddelta3 cross-lineage recombinations was observed (seven out of 16 TCRD rearrangements; 44%), whereas more mature Vdelta2-Ddelta3 gene rearrangements occurred less frequently (six out of 16 TCRD rearrangements; 38% vs >70% in pediatric precursor-B-ALL). Together these data suggest that the Ig/TCR genotype of precursor-B-ALL is more immature and more stable in adults than in children. We also evaluated whether heteroduplex analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products of rearranged Ig and TCR genes can be used for identification of molecular targets for minimal residual disease (MRD) detection. Using five of the major gene targets (IGH, IGK, TCRG, TCRD and TAL1 deletion), we compared the SB data and heteroduplex PCR results. High concordance between the two methods ranging from 96 to 100% was found for IGK, TCRG and TAL1 genes. The concordance was lower for IGH (70%) and TCRD genes (90%), which may be explained by incomplete or 'atypical' rearrangements or by translocations detectable only by SB. Finally, the heteroduplex PCR data indicate, that MRD monitoring is possible in almost 90% of adult precursor-B-ALL and >95% of adult T-ALL patients.
PMID: 9665194, UI: 98328131