Interleukin-16 as a marker of Sézary syndrome onset and stage

Jillian Richmond, Marina Tuzova, Ashley Parks, Natalie Adams, Elizabeth Martin, Marianne Tawa, Lynne Morrison, Keri Chaney, Thomas S. Kupper, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, William Cruikshank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sézary syndrome is one of the most common forms of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). It is characterized by skin infiltration of malignant T cells. We examined interleukin-16, a potent T cell chemoattractant and cell-cycle regulator, as a prospective marker of disease onset and stage. Methods: The correlation of total intracellular interleukin-16 and surface CD26 was studied by flow cytometry. Confocal microscopy was performed to determine localization of interleukin-16 at different stages of the disease. The levels of interleukin-16 in plasma and culture supernatants were examined by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Additionally, lymphocytes from stage IB patients were cultured in the presence of interleukin-16 alone and in combination with interleukin-15, and their ability to survive and proliferate was determined by cell counts and [3H]TdR incorporation. Results: The data indicate that loss of both nuclear and intracellular pro-interleukin-16 highly correspond to disease stage, with a concomitant increase in secreted mature interleukin-16 in both culture supernatants and patients' plasma that peaks at stage IB. Loss of intracellular interleukin-16 strongly corresponded to loss of surface CD26, which has been shown to occur with more advanced stage of CTCL. Nuclear translocation of pro-interleukin-16 was not observed in late stages of Sézary syndrome, indicating this loss is not reversible. Conclusions: We propose that it is feasible to use plasma levels of IL-16 as a potential diagnostic marker of Sézary syndrome and to use loss of intracellular IL-16 as a prognostic indicator of disease severity and stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CD26
  • Cutaneous T cell lymphoma
  • Sézary syndrome
  • caspase 3
  • interleukin-16
  • malignant T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Richmond, J., Tuzova, M., Parks, A., Adams, N., Martin, E., Tawa, M., Morrison, L., Chaney, K., Kupper, T. S., Curiel-Lewandrowski, C., & Cruikshank, W. (2011). Interleukin-16 as a marker of Sézary syndrome onset and stage. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 31(1), 39-50.