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September 1993

In Vitro Induction of Basal Keratinocyte MY7 Antigen Expression in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Is Associated With Response to Interferon-Alfa Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratoire d'Immunodermatologie, Clinique de Dermatologie, Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu, Nantes, France (Drs Celerier, Fleischmann, Bureau, Litoux, and Dréno); Laboratoire de Recherche Dermatologique, Service de Dermatologie-Phlebologie, Hôpital Saint Charles, Montpellier, France (Dr Basset-Seguin); and Laboratoire Roche, Neuilly sur Seine, France (Dr Thill).

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(9):1136-1140. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680300064009

Background:  Normal basal cell keratinocytes express an antigen recognized by monoclonal antibody MY7. This expression is lost in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and may be reinduced under interferon-alfa—2a therapy. We investigated whether similar modulation of MY7 antigen could be obtained in vitro and determined the relationship between in vitro modulation and clinical response.

Subjects:  We studied MY7 expression by basal cell keratinocytes in reconstituted skin specimens from 10 patients with CTCL and from skin specimens from five control patients and determined its modulation by interferon-alfa—2a and interleukin 1 using the indirect immunofluorescence technique. Concurrently, clinical examination and in vivo immunologic study on cutaneous biopsy specimens were carried out for these 10 patients before and while receiving interferon-alfa—2a therapy.

Results:  In vitro studies showed that in five control specimens MY7 expression by basal cells was constant without modulation by interferon-alfa—2a or interleukin 1 Two of 10 CTCL specimens spontaneously expressed MY7 antigen while an additional five did so after incubation with interferon-alfa—2a and the last three never did.

Conclusion:  The three patients with CTCL for whom no MY7 expression was observed in reconstituted skin studies were "poor responders" to interferon-alfa—2a therapy. The five patients with CTCL for whom in vitro MY7 expression was induced by interferon-alfa—2a were responders. For the last two patients, results were variable. Thus, in vitro MY7 antigen is expressed in normal basal cell keratinocytes, absent in CTCL basal cell keratinocytes, but can be induced by interferon-alfa—2a. Moreover this in vitro modulation appears to be possibly correlated with interferon-alfa efficacy in vivo.(Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:1136-1140)