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Infect Immun. 1995 Nov;63(11):4277-83.

In vitro influence of Mycoplasma penetrans on activation of peripheral T lymphocytes from healthy donors or human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals.

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D├ępartement du SIDA et des R├ętrovirus, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Mycoplasma penetrans is a mycoplasma species newly isolated from the urine of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals and presents the only case in which an association has been found between antibodies against a mycoplasma and HIV infection. To further explore the effects of M. penetrans on the immune system, we studied the influence of this mycoplasma on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy donors and HIV-infected individuals. M. penetrans induced, in addition to blastogenesis of PBMCs, a significant proliferative response associated with the expression of some activation markers such as CD69, HLA-DR, and CD25. This M. penetrans-dependent lymphocyte activation was observed not only in healthy donors but also in HIV-infected persons at different stages of the disease. In addition, our study revealed that both CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes were responsive to M. penetrans. Interestingly, the mitogenic activity of M. penetrans was associated with mycoplasma cells but not with the supernatants of mycoplasma culture. The potent stimulating activity of M. penetrans on T lymphocytes from HIV-infected individuals is of particular interest in view of the supposed contribution of immune activation to HIV replication and disease progression.

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