Heterogeneity of CD4-Positive Human T-Cell Clones Which Recognize the Surface Protein Antigen of Rickettsia typhi
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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Immunity to the typhus group of rickettsiae is largely dependent on the effector function of several classes of T lymphocytes, including those which produce gamma interferon. Since the surface protein antigen SPA derived from typhus group rickettsiae has been shown to be an effective immunogen in animal models, human T-cell clones specific for the SPA of Rickettsia typhi were isolated and tested for their antigenic specificity, as well as for their ability to produce gamma interferon. Eighteen CD4-positive clones specific for the SPA of R. typhi exhibited considerable diversity in their response to the SPAs derived from two strains of Rickettsia prowazekii and from Rickettsia canada. The vast majority of clones also recognized the SPAs from R. prowazekii but not from R. canada. Two heteroclitic clones demonstrated significantly higher proliferative responses to the SPAs derived from one or both of the R. prowazekii strains than to the SPA of R. typhi, and one clone demonstrated a significantly higher response to the SPA of R. typhi than to the other SPAs. All 18 clones produced gamma interferon in response to SPA stimulation. We conclude that the SPAs from typhus group rickettsiae can elicit both a diverse T-cell response in humans and the efficient stimulation of gamma interferon-mediated immunity.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
- Medicine and Medical Research