Unbiased usage of T‐cell receptor β variable region genes in peripheral blood cells of hepatitis C patients: No correlation with superantigen effect

C. C. Wang, L. H. Hwang, D. S. Chen*, P. M. Yang, B. L. Chiang, P. J. Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection frequently causes chronic hepatitis and lack of virus clearance in these patients. In addition, many patients infected by HCV also present with hypergamma‐globulinemia in the early stage of chronic infection. These observations raise a possible viral superantigen effect induced by HCV, because viral superantigen found in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or in replication of defective murine leukemia virus (MuLV) is associated with T‐cell dysfunction and polyclonal activation of B cells. The possibility was investigated of whether HCV encodes any superantigen by analyzing the usage of T‐cell receptor (TCR) from the peripheral blood lymphocytes (PEL) of patients with chronic hepatitis C. Two groups, one with hyper‐gammaglobulinemia and the other without hy‐pergammaglobulinemia, were studied for the usage of TCR β chain by reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR) analysis. It was found that all genes of Vβ variable chain were used in the PBL of these patients. Furthermore, there was no significant difference of the TCR expression pattern between these two groups, nor a complete deletion of a particular T‐cell subset in either group. These results do not provide evidence for HCV superantigen, but indicate that the TCR usage in the patients was neither defective nor biased. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

Keywords

  • chronicity
  • HCV
  • hypergamma‐globulinemia

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