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Circ Res. 1987 Nov;61(5):715-25.

Immunologic identification of lymphocyte subsets in experimental murine myocarditis with encephalomyocarditis virus. Different kinetics of lymphocyte subsets between the heart and the peripheral blood, and significance of Thy 1.2+ (pan T) and Lyt 1+, 23+ (immature T) subsets in the development of myocarditis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


To clarify the immune mechanism in myocarditis, immunofluorescence techniques with laser flow cytometry were used to examine serial changes in lymphocyte subsets in the heart, spleen, and peripheral blood of DBA/2 and BALB/c mice inoculated with encephalomyocarditis virus (Experiment I). B cells were identified by staining with fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled rabbit anti-mouse immunoglobulin. T-cell subsets were identified with rat anti-Thy 1.2, and nonpolymorphic Lyt 1 and Lyt 2 monoclonal antibodies plus fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled anti-mouse immunoglobulin. On days 7 and 14 postinfection, the percentage of Thy 1.2+ (pan T) cells in both strains had decreased in the peripheral blood; B cells showed no significant changes throughout the entire period. On the other hand, Thy 1.2+ (pan T) and Lyt 1+, 23+ (precursor and immature) T cells appeared to occupy the major portion of the myocardium on days 7 and 14 when congestive heart failure developed. To confirm this, serial immunohistologic studies (immunoperoxidase staining) of the hearts of DBA/2 and BALB/c mice with encephalomyocarditis virus-induced myocarditis were performed (Experiment II). In Experiment II, most of the stained cells in the hearts of both strains were Thy 1.2 positive and Lyt 1 and Lyt 2 positive on days 7 and 14. Thus, Experiments I and II demonstrated that lymphocytes at the site of inflammation in acute viral myocarditis carried antigenic markers that differed from those of peripheral lymphocytes and suggested that Thy 1.2+ (pan T) cells, especially the Lyt 1+, 23+ subset (immature T cells and T-cell subset precursors) were involved in the development of myocarditis in these animals.

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