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Aging and Stereotypic B-Cell Receptors Associated With CLL

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019

A study published in Immunity & Ageing revealed an increasing trend in the occurrence of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-associated B-cell receptors as healthy individuals age. Alice F. Muggen, PhD, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues found that the B-cell–receptor repertoire is relatively stable until age 70, whereupon “clear changes in IgHV gene usage were observed in naive mature B cells.”

The study evaluated the peripheral blood of 155 immunologically healthy individuals in four age categories. The total numbers and relative frequencies of B cells declined with age. Reductions in transitional B cells, memory cell types, and plasma blasts were seen in individuals 70 years and older along with changes in IgHV-gene usage in naive mature B cells. They also found a transitional pattern in IgHV-gene usage in those between age 50 and 70.

Notably, IgHV-gene usage in the clonal B-cell–receptor repertoire in CLL did not differ with the age of presentation in patients with CLL and largely resembled naive mature B cells of those between age 50 and 70 rather than 70 years and older. Additionally, CLL-associated stereotypic B-cell receptors were found to be part of the healthy control range of B-cell receptors, with an age-associated increase in frequency of several stereotypic B-cell receptors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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