To investigate the cellular immune surveillance against HTLV-I infected T lymphocytes in HTLV-I associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), we studied the cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) activity against an HTLV-I infected human T cell line (MT-2) and the natural killer (NK) cell activity in 15 HAM patients, 6 HTLV-I carriers, and 15 controls. The activity of CTL against MT-2 cells was found to be significantly elevated in HAM compared with that in the controls. This cytotoxicity in HAM was higher than in HTLV-I carriers, although the difference was not statistically significant. There was an HLA class I restriction in this CTL activity against MT-2 cells in HAM. On the other hand, NK cell activity was significantly lower in HAM than in controls. Cold target inhibition studies suggested that NK cells could not lyse MT-2 cells effectively. There was a positive correlation between the CTL activity against MT-2 cells and the serum antibody titers to HTLV-I in HAM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology