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Ann Neurol. 1991 Jan;29(1):33-40.

Common T-cell receptor V beta usage in oligoclonal T lymphocytes derived from cerebrospinal fluid and blood of patients with multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.


T-cell populations were investigated in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. Individual T cells were directly cloned from the cerebrospinal fluid and blood before in vitro expansion, and their clonotypes were compared by Southern blot analysis of the rearrangement patterns of their T-cell receptor beta chain and gamma chain genes. This allowed the determination of whether two T cell clones shared the same T-cell receptor and thus arose from identical, clonally expanded (oligoclonal) progenitor T cells. As an extension of previous studies, oligoclonal T-cell clones were identified in both cerebrospinal fluid and blood populations in 5 of 9 patients with inflammatory demyelinating disease among a total of 486 blood and cerebrospinal fluid T-cell clones. In contrast, no clonally expanded T-cell populations were found among a total of 424 clones derived from either blood of 4 normal control subjects or blood and cerebrospinal fluid of 8 patients with other neurological diseases. Analysis of T-cell receptor V beta genes among 4 oligoclonal T-cell populations derived from 3 patients with multiple sclerosis demonstrated common usage of the V beta 12 gene segment. These data suggest that oligoclonal T cells share similar specificities and that clonal expansion may have resulted from specific stimulation by an antigen. Moreover, identical clones between blood and cerebrospinal fluid were observed in 3 of 9 patients with demyelinating disease, thus providing further evidence of an equilibrium between peripheral and central nervous system immune compartments.

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