Selective depletion in HIV infection of T cells that bear specific T cell receptor V beta sequences

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Nov 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5033, pp. 860-862
DOI: 10.1126/science.1948066


The mechanism of T cell depletion during infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is unclear. Examination of the repertoire of T cell receptor V (variable) regions in persons infected with HIV revealed the absence of a common set of V beta regions, whereas V alpha usage was normal. The lack of these V beta segments did not appear to correlate with opportunistic infections. The selective elimination of T cells that express a defined set of V beta sequences may indicate the presence of an HIV-encoded superantigen, similar to those encoded by the long terminal repeat of the mouse mammary tumor virus.

Stay Connected to Science