Lymphocyte toxicity and T cell receptor excision circles in workers exposed to benzene.


We have previously reported that benzene decreases peripheral white blood cell and platelet counts and specifically lowers subsets of several blood cell types, including CD4+-T cells, B cells, NK cells, and granulocytes. Diminished thymus function has been implicated as a mechanism for CD4+-T cell loss in other conditions such as AIDS by assays of T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), a marker of naive T cells that have recently emigrated from the thymus. To evaluate alteration of thymic function as a mechanism for benzene's effects on CD4+-T cell counts, we measured total TREC levels in 45 benzene-exposed workers and 45 unexposed controls. There was no significant difference in TREC levels per 10(6) peripheral blood leukocytes in the benzene-exposed workers compared to the controls. Although our study does not rule out counterbalancing alterations of TREC levels in specific T cell subsets, benzene's lymphotoxicity does not appear to be mediated through diminished thymus function.

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@article{Lan2005LymphocyteTA, title={Lymphocyte toxicity and T cell receptor excision circles in workers exposed to benzene.}, author={Qing Lan and Luoping Zhang and Fran T. Hakim and Min Shen and Sarfraz Memon and Guilan L. Li and Roel C H Vermeulen and Martyn Thomas Smith and Stephen M. Rappaport and R. Hayes and Martha S . Linet and Songnian N. Yin and Nathaniel Rothman and Charles S. Rabkin}, journal={Chemico-biological interactions}, year={2005}, volume={153-154}, pages={111-5} }