Studies by several groups have suggested that HIV infection in vivo results in a Vβ-specific alteration of the TCR repertoire and that this might play a role in the pathogenesis of AIDS. However, there is very little agreement as to which Vβ segments are affected. In order to circumvent the confounding factors present in vivo we have examined the abilities of both a crude protein extract of HIV and purified gp160 to alter the Vβ repertoire of normal T cells in vitro. We find that both a crude extract of HIV as well as gp160 specifically activate T cells expressing a common set of Vβ segments (Vβ3, 12, 14, 15, and sometimes Vβ17 and 20) in individuals of disparate HLA type. This set of Vβ segments is remarkably similar to those recognized by staphylococcal enterotoxin B and supports the hypothesis that bacterial superantigens produced by opportunistically acquired micro-organisms could have an exacerbating effect in AIDS.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - May 1995|
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