1. Natural killer cell activity and monocyte cytotoxicity was evaluated in three subgroups of patients with primary hypogammaglobulinaemia (ten patients with late-onset, eight with X-linked and five with early-onset disease) and in two patients with secondary late-onset hypogammaglobulinaemia against the K-562 erythro-leukaemia, the CaCo-2 colon carcinoma and the HGT-1 gastric carcinoma cell lines and compared with the results found in healthy control subjects.

2. The natural killer cell activity, both spontaneous and after stimulation with recombinant γ-interferon, was found to be decreased in patients with late-onset hypogammaglobulinaemia. The natural killer cell activity in this subgroup was found to be impaired in 60% of the patients (P < 0.05). Within the other forms of primary hypogammaglobulinaemia a decreased natural killer cell activity was found to be less frequent (33%).

3. The lectin-mediated cytotoxicity by phytohaem-agglutinin resulted in a similar maximal cytotoxicity in patients and control subjects.

4. The cytotoxicity of monocytes, spontaneous and after recombinant γ-interferon stimulation, was found to be normal in all patients with hypogammaglobulinaemia.

5. The impaired natural killer cell activity which was found in patients with late-onset hypogammaglobulinaemia may contribute to the increased susceptibility to infections and to the increased incidence of malignancies in this subgroup of patients with primary hypogammaglobulinaemia.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.