An AIDS-related cytotoxic autoantibody reacts with a specific antigen on stimulated CD4+ T cells

Abstract

Patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditons are known to have abnormalities of T cell subpopulations, including a decreased helper/inducer (bearing the CD4 antigen) to suppressor/cytotoxic (bearing the CDS antigen) T cell ratio and decreased absolute numbers of T cells with the CD4+ phenotype1,2. Infection of T cells with a retrovirus, termed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is thought to be important in these abnormalities3–5. HIV infection alone does not adequately explain the CD4+ T-cell abnormalities seen in AIDS, however, and the nature of T-cell destruction in this disease remains poorly characterized6. Here we describe an AIDS-related serum autoantibody that reacts with an antigen of relative molecular mass 18,000 (Mr 18K) restricted to lectin-stimulated or HIV-infected CD4+ T cells. The antibody also suppresses proliferation of CD4+ T cells in vitro and induces cytotoxicity of these cells in the presence of complement. Its role in the development of AIDS merits attention.

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Stricker, R., McHugh, T., Moody, D. et al. An AIDS-related cytotoxic autoantibody reacts with a specific antigen on stimulated CD4+ T cells. Nature 327, 710–713 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1038/327710a0

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