Impairment of the humoral and CD4(+) T cell responses in HTLV-1-infected individuals immunized with tetanus toxoid

Hum Immunol. 2016 Aug;77(8):674-681. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 6.


T cells from HTLV-1-infected individuals have a decreased ability to proliferate after stimulation with recall antigens. This abnormality may be due to the production of regulatory cytokine or a dysfunctional antigen presentation. The aims of this study were to evaluate the antibody production and cytokine expression by lymphocytes before and after immunization with tetanus toxoid (TT) and to evaluate the immune response of monocytes after stimulation with TT and frequency of dendritic cells (DC) subsets. HTLV-1 carriers (HC) and uninfected controls (UC) with negative serology for TT were immunized with TT, and the antibody titers were determined by ELISA as well as the cell activation markers expression by monocytes. The frequencies of DC subsets were determined by flow cytometry. Following immunization, the IgG anti-TT titers and the frequency of CD4(+) T cells expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-10 in response to TT were lower in the HC than in the UC. Additionally, monocytes from HC did not exhibit increased HLA-DR expression after stimulation with TT, and presented low numbers of DC subsets, therefore, it's necessary to perform functional studies with antigen-presenting cells. Collectively, our finding suggests that HC present an impairment of the humoral and CD4(+) T cell immune responses after vaccination.

Keywords: Antibody; Antigen-presenting cells; Cytokines; HTLV-1; Recall antigen.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • HTLV-I Infections / immunology*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Immunization
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tetanus Toxoid / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma