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Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Aug;37(8):1221-7.

CD4+ and CD8+ T cell expansions using selected TCR V and J gene segments at the onset of giant cell arteritis.

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center (MTC), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



To investigate T cell receptor (TCR) V alpha/V beta (and in selected cases, J beta) usage in CD4+ and CD8+ peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA), before and after treatment, as well as to analyze the HLA types of these patients.


Flow cytometry, with 10 anti-TCR V-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAb), was used. To analyze J beta usage by cell populations expressing certain V beta, we used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, with V beta- and C beta-specific primers, Southern blotting of PCR products, and subsequent hybridization with radiolabeled J beta-specific probes. HLA typing was performed using the microlymphocytotoxicity technique.


Seven of the 9 GCA patients had increased anti-TCR V MAb reactivities (interpreted as T cell expansions), which in many cases, correlated with clinical signs of disease. A strict preference for particular J beta segments was found in 3 of 3 expanded CD4+ T cell populations.


T lymphocytes expressing specific antigen receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of GCA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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