Immune suppression in healthy carriers of adult T-cell leukemia retrovirus (HTLV-I): impairment of T-cell control of Epstein-Barr virus-infected B-cells

Jpn J Cancer Res. 1987 Jul;78(7):639-42.


We have examined the activities of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific memory T-cells of carriers of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) associated retrovirus (HTLV-I) and non-carriers in an ATL-endemic area, all of whom were EBV-seropositive, by assay of EBV-induced B-cell focus regression. The result showed that immune suppression, as represented by lowering of the regression, was present in 18 (29%) out of 63 healthy HTLV-I carriers, in contrast to none of 63 matched control persons (healthy non-carriers). This finding suggests that a suppression of cell-mediated immunity is induced by a persistent infection with ATL retrovirus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Carrier State
  • Deltaretrovirus / immunology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens