HLA-DR polymorphism influences T-cell precursor frequencies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gp110: implications for the association of HLA-DR antigens with rheumatoid arthritis

Tissue Antigens. 1999 Aug;54(2):146-52. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0039.1999.540205.x.


To study whether HLA-DR haplotypes associated with susceptibility to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may influence T-cell responses to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gp110 (a protein of the late replicative cycle of EBV), we evaluated the frequency in peripheral blood of T cells capable to proliferate to EBV gp110 by direct limiting dilution analysis in 50 HLA-DR-typed healthy subjects. NVe found that HLA-DRB1*07, an allele associated with reduced risk to develop RA, is associated with the highest frequencies of T cells specific for gp110 in peripheral blood. In contrast, HLA-DRB1*0404, one of the susceptibility alleles is associated with the lowest frequencies of gp110 specific T cells. Finally, people expressing both HLA-DRB1*07 and HLA-DRB1*0404 display low precursor frequencies to EBV gp110.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Callithrix
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / virology
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / immunology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / virology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*


  • Epstein-Barr virus glycoprotein gp110
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Viral Proteins