We describe herein the clinical and laboratory manifestations of a unique group of patients (pts) presenting with hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) who were treated in our medical centers for 4–13 years. Skin biopsies, flow cytometry of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), assays for cytokines and immunoglobulin (Ig) production in vitro, and Southern blots of T-cell receptor (TCR) genes were performed. All four pts had a persistent hypereosinophilia (<1.9 × 109/L) and chronic skin rash. Three of four had elevated IgE, thrombotic manifestations and lung involvement (asthma and/or infiltrates), and one had deforming sero-negative arthritis of the hands. 66–95% of their peripheral T-cells expressed CD4 but not CD3 or TCR molecules on the cell surface membrane. Activated CD4+CD3- cells secreted interleukin (IL)- 4 and/or 5, and were required for maximal IgE secretion by autologous B-cells. Two pts had evidence of rearrangement of TCR genes of the CD4+CD3- cells, one of whom died of anaplastic lymphoma. In conclusion, HES with CD4+CD3- lymphocytosis may be associated with high serum IgE, dermatological, pulmonary, thrombotic and rheumatic manifestations which may be due to Th2 effects of CD4+CD3-cells migrating to end organs. Fatal systemic lymphoid malignancy may also develop in some pts with monoclonal expansion of the CD4+CD3- T-cells.
- CD4+ CD3- helper T cells
- hypereosinophilic syndrome