Leukemic cells of a patient with acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) exhibiting the uncommon clinical feature of hypogammaglobulinemia were examined in terms of surface markers and immunologic functions. Employing various monoclonal reagents reacting with surface antigens present on T cells and additional conventional markers, it was shown that the patient’s leukemic cells expressed a phenotypical profile (E-R+, TdT+, C3d-R-, OKT 3-, T 4-, T 6(+), T 10+, T 8 ++) corresponding to the intermediate stage between the cortical and medullary phase of normal thymocyte differentiation. Functionally, they were unable to respond to mitogens or to produce detectable amounts of immunoglobulins or to provide ‘help’ for allogeneic antibody production while they suppressed the immunoglobulin production of normal B cells by 76% in coculture experiments.

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