Detection of human T lymphotrophic virus type I (HTLV-I) proviral DNA and analysis of T cell receptor Vβ CDR3 sequences in spinal cord lesions of HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis

Hideo Hara, Mihoko Morita, Toru Iwaki, Tomoko Hatae, Yasuto Itoyarna, Tetuyuki Kitamoto, Shin Ichirou Akizuki, Ikuo Goto, Takeshi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identification of the localization of human T lymphotrophic virus type I (HTLV-I) proviral DNA in the central nervous system (CNS) is crucial to the understanding of the pathogenesis of HTLVI- associated myelopathy (HAM)/tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) pathogenesis. We have developed a sensitive detection method, called two-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in situ hybridization, which enabled us to detect the HTLV-I proviral DNA in paraffin-embedded spinal cord tissue sections from HAM/TSP patients. HTLV-I proviral DNA was detected only in the nucleus of lymphocytes that had infiltrated into the spinal cord. However, no proviral DNA was amplified in any neuronal cells, including neurons and glial cells. This indicates that the demyelination of the spinal cord by HTLV-I as a result of viral infection of oligodendrocytes or neuronal cells is unlikely. The T cell receptor Vβ gene sequence from lymphocytes in the spinal cord lesions taken from the same HAM/TSP autopsy cases revealed unique and restricted CDR3 motifs, CASSLXG(G) (one-letter amino acid. X is any amino acid), CASSPT(G), and CASSGRL which are similar to those described in T cells from brain lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) and in a rat T cell clone derived from experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) lesions. The present results suggest that T cells containing restricted V3 CDK3 motifs, which are also found in MS and EAE, become activated upon HTLV-I infection and infiltrate into the spinal cord lesions of HAM/TSP patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume180
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Sep 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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