HIV induces deletion of T cell receptor variable gene product-specific T cells

Clin Exp Immunol. 1993 Oct;94(1):17-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1993.tb05970.x.


Using a flow cytometric method, CD4+, CD8+, alpha beta TCR+ and TCR variable region gene product (TVRGP)-specific T cells were analysed in healthy heterosexual males (HHeM), HIV-seronegative homosexual males (SNHM), asymptomatic seropositive homosexual males (ASPH) and homosexual males with AIDS who were either well (AIDS-A), or unwell in hospital (AIDS-B). Total CD4+ and CD8+ T cell numbers were similar in HHeM and SNHM. CD4+ T cells were significantly reduced in ASPH relative to both HHeM and SNHM and in AIDS-A and AIDS-B relative to SNHM. TVRGP-specific T cells expressed as a percentage of TCR alpha beta + cells showed no significant difference in HHeM, SNHM and AIDS-B. The proportion of alpha beta + cells expressing the V beta 5.1, V beta 12 and V alpha 2 gene product (GP) was, however, significantly reduced in ASPH and AIDS-B relative to HHeM, SNHM and AIDS-A. Possible causes of TVRGP-specific T cell deletion are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta