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J Infect Dis. 1999 Jul;180(1):225-8.

Sequestration of T lymphocytes to body fluids in tuberculosis: reversal of anergy following chemotherapy.

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Institute of General Pathology, University of Palermo, 90134 Palermo, Italy.


The specificity of CD4 T lymphocytes was investigated in 6 patients affected by tuberculosis who had negative tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) skin tests at diagnosis. Polyclonal CD4 T cell lines from the peripheral blood failed to proliferate to PPD and to the 16- or 38-kDa proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, while CD4 cell lines from the disease site responded to PPD and to the 16- and 38-kDa proteins and derived epitopes in vitro. Four months after chemotherapy, the patients became responsive to PPD. The proliferative response to PPD and to the 16- or 38-kDa proteins and their derived peptides decreased in CD4 T cell lines from the disease site and increased in lines from the peripheral blood. These results indicate that CD4 T cells recognizing a vast array of M. tuberculosis epitopes are compartmentalized at the site of disease in anergic patients but appear in peripheral blood after chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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