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ISRN Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 512527, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Immunophenotypic Analysis of B Lymphocytes in Patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency: Identification of CD23 as a Useful Marker in the Definition of the Disease

1Department of Medicine, Unit of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
2Department of Pathology and Diagnosis, Section of Immunology, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
3Institute G. Gaslini and Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy

Received 20 February 2013; Accepted 17 March 2013

Academic Editors: C. M. Artlett, E. K. Kapsogeorgou, and B. E. Palmer

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Patuzzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by the failure of B lymphocytes differentiation leading to deficient immunoglobulins secretion. The identified genetic defects account only for a minority of cases. The importance of B cells immunophenotyping in the classification of CVID is known. This procedure can identify alterations on the cell surface molecules expression that could explain some immunological disorders characteristic of CVID. Moreover, some immunophenotypical aspects can correlate with clinical features of the disease. We used this procedure to analyze a cohort of 23 patients affected by CVID, in order to identify the novel alterations of B cells and to find the possible correlations with clinical features. Circulating B cells were studied by flow cytometry incubating whole blood with specific antibodies for B cell surface molecules including CD27, IgM, IgD, CD21, and CD23. We compared the population of “switched memory” IgD− CD27+ B lymphocytes with the population of “switched memory” IgM− IgD− CD23− CD27+ B cells. These last B cells were reduced in patients compared to healthy controls; moreover, IgM− IgD− CD23− CD27+ B cells were lower than IgD− CD27+ B cells in patients with CVID. The reduction of this subset of B lymphocytes correlates more tightly than IgD− CD27+ B cells with lymphadenopathy and airways infections. In conclusion, our findings may help in better identifying patients with CVID.