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Preferential usage of T cell antigen receptor V region gene segment V beta 5.1 by Borrelia burgdorferi antigen-reactive T cell clones isolated from a patient with Lyme disease.

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By Lahesmaa R, Shanafelt MC, Allsup A, Soderberg C, Anzola J, Freitas V, Turck C, Steinman L, Peltz G • • May 1, 1993


Forty-three CD3+4+8- TCR alpha beta+ Borrelia burgdorferi-reactive T cell clones isolated from the peripheral blood of a single patient with clinically active chronic Lyme arthritis were characterized. The spirochetal Ag recognized by 16 of these T cell clones was determined by reactivity with a panel of recombinant spirochetal Ag, which included the OspA, OspB, flagellin, Hsp60 and Hsp70 proteins. All three T cell clones reactive with heat shock proteins recognized a non-cross-reactive epitope unique to the spirochetal Ag. Analysis of the TCR V regions revealed preferential usage of V beta 5.1; 5 of 15 T cell clones that recognized an unidentified spirochetal Ag utilized this V beta gene segment. Most of the T cell clones recognized a given spirochetal Ag exclusively within the context of one HLA class II allele. However, two T cell clones, which recognized an unidentified Ag in the spirochetal lysate within the context of different HLA class II alleles, were both TCR V beta 5.1+, although each displayed a distinct alpha-chain. Moreover, in vitro incubation of this patient's PBMC with B. burgdorferi Ag resulted in a specific increase in the percentage of T cells expressing TCR V beta 5.1. These results indicate that B. burgdorferi has a V beta-selective factor influencing the cellular immune response in a patient with clinically active Lyme disease.

J Immunol. 1993 May 1;150(9):4125-35. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

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