Previously, we had shown that although only 8% of patients with large granular lymphocytic leukemia (LGLL) were infected with human T cell lymphoma/leukemia virus (HTLV)-2, almost half had antibodies to HTLV Gag and Env peptides. Herein, we investigated whether this could be due to cross-reactive antibodies to two homologous peptides in the Gag protein of the endogenous retrovirus HTLV-related endogenous sequence-1 (HRES-1). In addition, we had previously shown that patients with HTLV neurodegenerative diseases had increased seroreactivity to homologous HERV-K10 endogenous retrovirus peptides. Hence, in this study we also examined whether these patients had increased seroreactivity to the aforementioned HRES-1 Gag peptides. Sera from 100 volunteer blood donors (VBD), 53 patients with LGLL, 74 subjects with HTLV-1 or 2 infection (58 nonmyelopathy and 16 myelopathy), and 83 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) were evaluated. The HTLV-positive myelopathy (HAM) patients had a statistically increased prevalence of antibodies to both HRES-1 Gag peptides (81%) vs. the VBD (0%), LGLL patients (13%), and MS patients (1%), and the HTLV-positive nonmyelopathy subjects (21%). The data suggest that cross-reactivity to HRES-1 peptides could be involved in the pathogenesis of HAM. The difference between the VBD and LGLL patients was also statistically significant, also suggesting a possible association in a minority of patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases