We report a patient with a disease characterized by proliferation of T cells with Fc receptors for IgG (TG). However, unlike lymphoid cells from normal individuals or from patients with other lymphoid malignancies, the patient's lymphocytes spontaneously produced gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in vitro. The peripheral lymphocytes consisted of 95% TG cells, which exhibited the morphological characteristics of T- cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and were normal on cytochemical and chromosome analysis. The majority of TG cells were OKT3+, OKT8+, and OKT4-, 3A1-. These cells failed to express suppressor cell activity and displayed depressed levels of natural killer activity, but mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. The spontaneous production of IFN-gamma by human peripheral lymphoid cells as demonstrated in this study may serve as a probe for studying the relationship between IFN-gamma and the proliferation of human T-cell subsets.

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