Skin-selective lymphocyte homing mechanisms in the pathogenesis of leukemic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Peter W. Heald, Shu Ling Yan, Richard L. Edelson, Robert Tigelaar, Louis J. Picker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The concept of skin-associated lymphoid tissue embraces those cells and functions that are integrated in the cutaneous host defense. Recently, it has been possible to identify those circulating T-cells that are skin associated. These cells display the cell-surface phenotype of memory T cells (CD45RO+) and express the cutaneous lymphocyte antigen, a tissue-selective homing receptor involved in directing T-cell traffic to inflamed skin. To investigate the participation of this skin-associated T-cell subset in the pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, we studied 16 patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma for the presence of these surface proteins on circulating cells. Results were compared with eight patients in remission and eight with minimal patchplaque cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The mean expression of both CD45RO and cutaneous lymphocyte antigen were significantly greater in the erythrodermic patients than in the other two patient groups. Expression of these markers was shown to be on the cells of the malignant clone by two-color flow cytometry. These results demonstrate that the malignant cells of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma express the markers of skin homing lymphocytes and that their levels are increased in the erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients. Moreover, the findings suggest a critical role for the skin-selective homing receptor cutaneous lymphocyte antigen in the pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • CD45 isoforms
  • cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • cutaneous lymphocyte antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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