WE have investigated the motility, superoxide anion production and tumor cell lysis of neutrophils from five patients affected by hairy cell leukemia. Random locomotion and chemotaxis towards denaturated casein and activated serum was normal as well as the superoxide generation induced by FMLP and TPA were markedly reduced. The low responsiveness of neutrophils to TPA was also observed by evaluating cell lysis, against either non-immunized K562 target cells or antibody-coated tumor targets. In hairy cell leukemia neutrophils showed a selective reduced response to TPA and FMLP that, directly or indirectly, activate PKC, suggesting an impairment in the system of signal transduction.
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