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Restricted T cell receptor beta-chain variable region protein use by cornea-derived CD4+ and CD8+ herpes simplex virus-specific T cells in patients with herpetic stromal keratitis.

J. Infect. Dis. 2003, vol. 187, issue 4

Herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK) is a T helper type 1 cell-mediated inflammatory disease triggered by herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection of the cornea. In contrast to animal models of HSK, little is known about the role of T cells in human HSK. The phenotypes and repertoires of HSV-specific T cells recovered from the corneas of 12 patients with HSK were determined by flow cytometry. Cornea-derived T cell lines (TCLs) from 10 of the 12 patients contained high numbers of HSV-specific T cells. HSV reactivity was HSV type common and involved relatively more CD8(+) than CD4(+) T cells. The majority of the TCLs showed restricted T cell receptor beta-chain variable region protein (TCRBV) use. T cells expressing 1 or 2 TCRBVs dominated the HSV-1 reactivity in 3 of 5 TCLs analyzed. The data demonstrate that both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells may be involved in the HSV-specific T cell response in the corneas of patients with HSK and suggest that restricted TCRBV use by cornea-residing HSV-specific T cells occurs.

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