Volume 122, Issue 6, Pages 1082-1086 (December 2008)
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Omenn syndrome: Inflammation in leaky severe combined immunodeficiency
Anna Villa, MDa, Luigi D. Notarangelo, MDb, Chaim M. Roifman, MD, FRCPCcCorresponding Author Informationemail address
Received 3 September 2008; accepted 10 September 2008. published online 07 November 2008.
Omenn syndrome (OS) was reported until recently as a distinct form (phenotype and genotype) of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Similar to other patients with SCID, patients with OS present early in infancy with viral or fungal pneumonitis, chronic diarrhea, and failure to thrive. Unlike typical SCID, patients with OS have enlarged lymphoid tissue, severe erythroderma, increased IgE levels, and eosinophilia. The inflammation observed in these patients is believed to be triggered by clonally expanded T cells, which are predominantly of the TH2 type. These abnormal T cells, in the absence of proper regulation by other components of the immune system, secrete a host of cytokines that promote autoimmune as well as allergic inflammation. The emergence of these T-cell clones occurs in patients with hypomorphic mutations in recombination activating gene 1 or 2, but not in patients with deleterious mutations in these enzymes which render them inactive. Recently, OS was also identified in a growing list of other leaky SCIDs with mutations in RNA component of mitochondrial RNA processing endoribonuclease, adenosine deaminase, IL-2 receptor γ, IL-7 receptor α, ARTEMIS, and DNA ligase 4. This new information revealed OS is a distinct inflammatory process that can be associated with genetically diverse leaky SCIDS.