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Semin Immunol. 1993 Jun;5(3):175-85.

The T cell receptor V beta repertoire in HIV-1 infection and disease.

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Laboratoire d'Immunologie, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Viral superantigens (SAg) were shown in mice to induce anergy and deletion of T cells bearing specific T cell receptor V beta subsets, these perturbations being mainly restricted to CD4+ T cells. In accordance with this model, a putative HIV-associated SAg could contribute to the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and AIDS. To reveal the presence of this putative molecule, three study protocols were designed that relied on the fact that similarity of the expressed V beta repertoire of a given pair of individuals is proportional to the relative likeness of their MHC background: (1) by using a quantitative PCR technique that allows simultaneous typing of 24 V beta families, the V beta repertoires of HIV-discordant monozygotic twins were compared; (2) the V beta repertoire found in lymph nodes of HIV-infected subjects was contrasted to that found in peripheral blood of the same individuals; (3) the V beta repertoire of a cohort of HIV-infected mothers was compared with that of their HIV-infected and uninfected children. Results from these approaches revealed that significant perturbations of the TCR V beta repertoire were taking place in HIV-infected subjects, and that these alterations were restricted to T cells expressing specific V beta s. These results are consistent with the presence of an HIV-associated SAg in HIV-1 infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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