• Alterazioni dell'immunità  umorale nei pazienti con sarcoma di Kaposi classico: caratterizzazione dei linfociti B circolanti e delle loro sottopopolazioni
  • Bellinvia, Monica <1975>


  • MED/35 Malattie cutanee e veneree


  • Objectives: Human Herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is the etiological agent of Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS) and it is also associated with two B cell lymphoproliferative diseases: primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and the plasmablastic form of multicentric Castelman’s disease (MCD). HHV-8 establishes persistent infection in the host with tropism for multiple cell types. In KS patients, the virus is found in tumor-spindle cells, peripheral blood monocytes, endothelial progenitor circulating cells, T and B lymphocytes. Peripheral B cells represent one of the major virus reservoir, but the consequences of HHV-8 infection of these cells have been poorly characterized. Therefore, in this study the frequency, the immunophenotypic profile and the functional activity of different peripheral B cell subsets in patients with classic KS (cKS) was analysed in order to identify potential alterations of these cells. The classic variant of KS is ideal to perform such studies, as it lacks confounding factors such as HIV or EBV infection and immunosuppression. Methods: Whole-blood samples from patients with the classical form of KS (cKS) (n=62) and healthy age and sex-matched seronegative controls (HSN) (n=43) were analyzed by multiparametric flow-cytometry to determine the frequency of B cells and their subpopulations, as well as their surface expression of immunoglobulins and activation markers. Results: The frequency of circulating B cells was significantly higher in cKS patients than in controls. In particular, the analysis of the B cell subsets revealed a higher frequency of naïve B cells (CD19+CD27-), among which transitional CD19+CD38highCD5+ and pre-naïve (CD27-CD38intCD5+ ) B cells demonstrated an expansion. Memory B cells (CD19+CD27+) did not differ between the two study groups, except from a higher frequency of CD19+CD27+IgM+IgD+ B cells, the typical phenotype of marginal zone (MZ) B cells, in cKS patients. The characterization of membrane surface activation markers showed lower levels of the activation marker HLA-DR only on CD27- B cells, while CD80 and CD86 were less represented in all the the B cells from cKS patients. Moreover, B cells from cKS patients were smaller and with less granules than the ones from controls. Conclusion: Taken together, these results clearly indicate that circulating B cells are altered in patients with cKS, showing an expansion of the immature phenotypes. These B cell alterations may be due to an indirect viral effect rather than to a direct one: the cytokines expressed in the microenvironment typical of cKS may cause a faster release of immature cells from the bone marrow and a lower grade of peripheral differentiation, as already suggested for other chronic viral infections such as HIV and HCV. Further studies will be necessary to understand how these alterations contribute to the pathogenesis of KS and, eventually, to the different clinical evolution of the disease.


  • 2010-05-10


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Bellinvia, Monica (2010) Alterazioni dell'immunità umorale nei pazienti con sarcoma di Kaposi classico: caratterizzazione dei linfociti B circolanti e delle loro sottopopolazioni, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze dermatologiche e ricostruttive maxillo-facciali e plastiche , 22 Ciclo.