Elevated antibodies to synthetic peptides of HTLV-1 envelope transmembrane glycoproteins in patients with HAM/TSP

J Neuroimmunol. 1991 Dec;35(1-3):167-77. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(91)90171-3.


We studied the antibody response to various kinds of well-characterized synthetic peptides of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) envelope glycoproteins in patients with HTLV-1 associated myelopathy (HAM)/tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) and non-HAM/TSP HTLV-1 carriers. The serum antibody titers to most of the synthetic peptides were significantly higher in patients with HAM/TSP than those in non-HAM/TSP HTLV-1 carriers. However, the degree of the increase of antibody titers to the synthetic peptides corresponding to the transmembrane portions of HTLV-1 envelope glycoproteins (env-p20E), such as p20E 332-352, 374-392, 426-448 and 458-488, was greater than those to synthetic peptides of exterior portions of HTLV-1 envelope glycoproteins (env-gp46) in sera from patients with HAM/TSP. Antibodies to env-p20E 332-352 and 374-392 were elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) only from patients with HAM/TSP but not from non-HAM/TSP HTLV-1 carriers. These data indicate that the increase of antibody titers to transmembrane portions of HTLV-1 envelope glycoproteins in sera and CSF is a characteristic feature of antibody response in patients with HAM/TSP and may be closely associated with the development of HAM/TSP from non-HAM/TSP HTLV-1 carriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / blood
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / immunology*
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Glycoproteins
  • Peptides
  • Viral Envelope Proteins