T-cell antigen receptor Vβ subsets are not preferentially deleted in AIDS

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ObjectiveEvidence for an HIV-1-associated superantigen (SAg) has been presented. Here we test whether targeted T cells are preferentially depleted in AIDS.DesignThe T cell antigen receptor (TCR) VP repertoire was compared in 44 HIV + hemophiliac patients and in 27 controls.MethodsEleven TCR V gene-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAb), representing approximately one-third of the VP repertoire were used to measure T-cell numbers expressing Vβ and Vα genes in both the CD4 and the CD8 subsets by two-color immunofluorescence.ResultsThe percentage of T cells expressing these V genes could be accurately quantitated in both the CD4 and the CD8 T-cell populations and at various clinical stages of disease progression. No preferential deletion of any particular V gene subsets was detected.ConclusionCD4 T-cell depletion in AIDS is not Vβ-selective.

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