Fratricide among CD8(+) T lymphocytes naturally infected with human T cell lymphotropic virus type I

Immunity. 2000 Nov;13(5):657-64. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)00065-0.


Infection and gene expression by the human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) in vivo have been thought to be confined to CD4(+) T lymphocytes. We show here that, in natural HTLV-I infection, a significant proportion of CD8(+) T lymphocytes are infected by HTLV-I. Interestingly, HTLV-I-specific but not Epstein-Barr virus-specific CD8(+) T lymphocytes were shown to be infected. Furthermore, HTLV-I protein expression in naturally infected CD8(+) T lymphocytes renders them susceptible to fratricide mediated by autologous HTLV-I-specific CD8(+) T lymphocytes. Fratricide among virus-specific CTLs could impair the immune control of HTLV-I and possibly other lymphotropic viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • HTLV-I Infections / immunology*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1*
  • Humans