The effect of cytomegalovirus infection on T lymphocytes after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation

A M Würsch, J W Gratama, J M Middeldorp, C Nissen, A Gratwohl, B Speck, J Jansen, J D'Amaro, T H The, G C De Gast

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Abstract

The influence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection on peripheral T lymphocyte repopulation was studied in 59 bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients who received either cyclosporin A (CyA) or methotrexate (MTX) as prophylaxis for acute graft-versus-host disease. We used monoclonal antibodies and single- or double-marker immunofluorescence for the quantitation of T4+, T8+ and HNK1+ T cell subpopulations. CMV infection was serologically diagnosed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and by viral cultures and histological studies. Among the 52 patients who were evaluable for CMV infection, one had a primary infection and 24 had CMV reactivation/reinfection after BMT. In the latter patients, increases to supranormal levels were observed in T8+ T cells and HNK1+ T cells, both in patients on CyA and in patients on MTX. Double-marker immunofluorescence revealed that the two markers were largely expressed by the same cells, which therefore had the T8+ HNK1+ phenotype. In addition, the very small subset of T4+ HNK+ T cells was slightly, but consistently, increased in the patients with CMV reactivation/reinfection. CMV infection did not influence the numbers of T4+ HNK1- and T8+ HNK1- T cells. The long-lasting presence of large numbers of T8+ HNK1+ T cells in patients who had CMV reactivation/reinfection suggests a continuing interaction between the virus and the immune system of its host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-87
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume62
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1985

Cite this

Würsch, A. M., Gratama, J. W., Middeldorp, J. M., Nissen, C., Gratwohl, A., Speck, B., ... De Gast, G. C. (1985). The effect of cytomegalovirus infection on T lymphocytes after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 62(2), 278-87.