Summary:Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from asymptomatic HTLV-II-infected and uninfected Gran Chaco Amerindians were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for expansions of T-cell receptor (TCR) V-β gene clonotypes. Analyses were performed using primer pairs designed to identify expanded T-cell familial clonotypes based on their unique TCR β gene rearrangements. Of the 30 HTLV-IIB-positive samples tested, five showed evidence of V-β clonotypic T-cell expansion. Of the five expansions, two were monoclonotypic and the remaining three were oligoclonotypic. In comparison, 30 HTLV-II-negative Amerindians showed no evidence of clonotypic T-cell expansion. Amplified DNA from one of the monoclonotypic samples was subsequently cloned and sequenced and was found to have uniform variable/ diversity/joining sequences confirming its unique monoclonal T-cell expansion. This method of detecting clonal TCR β gene rearrangements has the advantage over traditional Southern blot techniques of being more sensitive and specific even with suboptimal specimens. The prognostic significance of clonotypic T-cell expansion in a group such as the HTLV-II-infected Gran Chaco Amerindians remains to be determined.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bernard J. Poiesz, Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, U.S.A.
Manuscript received August 27, 1997; accepted February 24, 1998.
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