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AIDS. 1995 Jun;9(6):547-53.

Lack of selective V beta deletion in CD4+ or CD8+ T lymphocytes and functional integrity of T-cell repertoire during acute HIV syndrome.

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1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Modena School of Medicine, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the V beta T-cell repertoire in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) during acute HIV syndrome by using several anti-V beta monoclonal antibodies (MAb) and to analyse its functionality by stimulating PBL with superantigens (SAg) such as Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins.

METHODS:

Cytofluorimetric analysis of V beta T-cell-receptor expression was performed on PBL from eight patients with symptomatic, acute HIV-1 primary infection, showing a dramatic decrease of CD4+ PBL accompanied by a marked increase in activated/memory CD8+ T cells, and on 12 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. PBL were then isolated, stimulated with different SAg, anti-CD3 MAb or phytohaemagglutinin and cultured for 3 days. PBL capability to progress through cell cycle was studied by the classic cytofluorimetric method of bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and DNA staining with propidium iodide.

RESULTS:

Despite the presence of a few expansions of some V beta families among CD8+ T lymphocytes, no gross alterations in T-cell repertoire were present in patients with acute HIV syndrome. Its functionality was maintained overall, as PBL responsiveness to SAg was well preserved. Interestingly, all CD8+ T cells, although bearing different V beta T-cell receptors, expressed marked signs of activation, i.e., CD45R0, CD38 and major histocompatibility complex class II molecules, and also high amounts of CD11a and CD18.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggest, at least in the early phases and in the acute form of the infection, that HIV is not likely to act as a SAg. However, further studies are needed to analyse other sites, such as lymph nodes, where HIV could exert other, significant effects, and to study the expression of other V beta families than those investigated here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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