The serum levels of IgE and the soluble cleavage product of CD23 (sCD23) were prospectively monitored for up to 1 year after transplantation in 34 patients who underwent autologous (n = 33) or syngeneic (n = 1) bone marrow transplantation (BMT). In 25 patients (74%), a transient IgE peak (two- to 2,750-fold increase) appeared in the serum 3 to 4 weeks after BMT. In 18 patients (51%), a two- to 125- fold increase in sCD23 coincided with the IgE peak. In only three patients was a sCD23 peak observed without a concomitant increase in IgE. The sCD23 increment preceded the IgE peak in each individual case. During the period of increased sCD23 serum levels, the absolute numbers of circulating B cells and other cell types expressing surface CD23 were extremely low. The biologic significance of these findings is discussed in light of present knowledge of regulation of B-cell growth and differentiation with special reference to the role of sCD23 as a multifunctional cytokine.

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