Pediatric acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: Demonstration of B lymphocyte defects in vitro

S. Pahwa, S. Fikrig, R. Menez, R. Pahwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in childhood is characterized by recurrent bacterial infections, a feature common in antibody deficiency disorders. The present study was aimed at investigating B lymphocyte function in 15 children aged 6 months to 6 years with AIDS or AIDS-related complex (ARC). Spontaneous secretion of immunoglobulins by freshly isolated peripheral blood B cells and the generation of immunoglobulin and antibody-secreting cells in lymphocyte cultures after polyclonal and antigenic stimulation were quantified in hemolytic plaque assays. Despite excessive spontaneous immunoglobulin secretion, responses elicited by B cells after in vitro stimulation were depressed in these children. Responses to T-dependent as well as to T-independent stimuli were affected. Studies of immunoregulatory T cells and intrinsic B cell function suggested that deficient precursor B cells and abnormal immunoregulation contributed to the defects in B cell differentiation. These findings indicate that B lymphocyte dysfunction is an integral feature of HTLV III infection in children who clinically present as either AIDS or AIDS-related complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalDiagnostic Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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