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      Nucleoside-phosphorylase deficiency in a child with severely defective T-cell immunity and normal B-cell immunity.


      enzymology, immunology, Child, Preschool, Erythrocytes, Female, Hematocrit, Homozygote, Humans, Immune Adherence Reaction, Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes, blood, B-Lymphocytes, genetics, Isoenzymes, Leukocyte Count, Metabolism, Inborn Errors, Pentosyltransferases, deficiency, T-Lymphocytes

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          A 5-year-old girl with a history of recurrent infection and anaemia has no measurable purine nucleoside phosphorylase (N.P.) activity in her red blood-cells. Her serum-immunoglobulin levels are normal, as are her antibody responses to thymus dependent and independent antigens. However, she has severe lymphopenia, pronounced depression of lymphocyte response to mitogenic and allogeneic cell stimuli, and greatly decreased T-cell rosette formation. Her parents are second cousins; their red cells contain less than half the normal level of N.P. activity. They also share an unusual N.P. isozyme pattern indicative of molecular hybridisation between catalytically active and inactive subunits, which strongly supports the assumption that they are heterozygous and their daughter is homozygous for a "silent" allele at the N.P. gene locus. Inherited deficiency of adenosine deaminase, an enzyme catalysing a reaction only one metabolic step away from that of N.P., is known to cause immunodeficiency. It is therefore very likely that this patient's lack of demonstrable N.P. activity is responsible for her syndrome.

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