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AIDS. 1993 May;7(5):633-8.

HIV infection leads to differential expression of T-cell receptor V beta genes in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.

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Department of Immunology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



To analyse variation in T-cell receptor (TCR) V beta gene expression in T cells in HIV-infected individuals.


Because there are very few monoclonal antibodies available for studying TCR V beta gene expression, we used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to analyse the TCR V beta repertoire in HIV-infected individuals using specific primers for 20 distinct families of TCR V beta.


Evaluation of TCR V beta gene expression in peripheral blood from HIV-1-infected individuals [two in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stage II, five in CDC stage III and four in CDC stage IV]. Complementary DNA was produced from CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, amplified by PCR and analysed after Southern blotting and hybridization with a C beta-specific oligonucleotide probe.


V beta gene expression was dramatically modified, especially in AIDS patients. The CD4+ T-cell subset showed both overexpression (V beta 2) and deletions or underexpression (V beta 9-V beta 20), whereas these gene segments were expressed normally in the CD8+ subset. Only V beta 3 was deleted or underexpression in both CD4+ and CD8+ populations in AIDS patients.


HIV-1 infection induces CD4+ T-cell deficiency, both in total numbers and by causing a paucity of select V beta gene expression in this subset. In addition, the V beta 3 gene family was deleted or underexpressed was observed in both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets from patients in CDC stage IV. These results are compatible with changes in V beta gene expression known to occur under the action of endogenous or exogenous superantigens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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