Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Immunoregulatory T cells in men with a new acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

  • 16 Accesses

  • 36 Citations


We have evaluated the functional properties of the OKT8+/OKT4+ T-cell subpopulations in nine patients with a new syndrome of acquired immune deficiency (AIDS). Despite polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia in the sera of these patients, their peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) produced negligible quantities of immunoglobulin (Ig) when culturedin vitro for 8 days in the presence of pokeweed mitogen (PWM). Patient B cells, however, synthesized normal quantities of immunoglobulin when cocultured with T cells from healthy donors, indicating preservation of B-cell function. Unfractionated PBL or T cells of patient origin mediated marked suppression of pokeweed mitogen-driven immunoglobulin production by T and B cells from healthy donors. The suppressive activity was contained within the population of T cells bearing the OKT8 antigen and was sensitive toin vitro irradiation. On a per-cell basis, patient OKT8+ cells appeared to have greater suppressive activity than normal control OKT8+ cells. In addition, OKT4+ cells from patients had less helper activity for induction of immunoglobulin synthesis than control OKT4+ cells. Increased T suppression and reduced T help are probably a consequence of one or more viral infections and may contribute to progressive immune deficiency and susceptibility to malignancy in patients with the acquired immuno deficiency syndrome.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Gottlieb MS, Schroff R, Schanker HM,et al. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and mucosal candidiasis in previously healthy homosexual men: Evidence of a new acquired cellular immunodeficiency. N Engl J Med 305:1425–1431, 1981

  2. 2.

    Siegal FP, Lopez C, Hammer G,et al. Severe acquired immunodeficiency in male homosexuals, manifested by chronic perianal ulcerative herpes simplex lesions. N Engl J Med 305:1439–1443, 1981

  3. 3.

    Masur H, Michelis M, Greene J,et al. An outbreak of community acquired Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. N Engl J Med 305:1431–1437, 1981

  4. 4.

    Hensley GT, Moskowitz LB, Pitchenik AE,et al. Opportunistic infections and Kaposi's sarcoma among Haitian in the United States. Morbid Mortal Week Rep 31:353, 1982

  5. 5.

    Centers for Disease Control: Briefing: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Aug 22, 1983

  6. 6.

    CDC: A cluster of Kaposi's sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among homosexual male residents of Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Morbid Mortal Week Rep 31:305–307, 1982

  7. 7.

    Schroff RW, Gottlieb MS, Prince HE, Chai LL, Fahey JL: Immunological studies of homosexual men with immunodeficiency and Kaposi's sarcoma. Clin Immunol and Immunopath 27:300–314, 1983

  8. 8.

    Ledbetter JA, Evans RL, Lipinski M,et al. Evolutionary conservation of surface molecules that distinguish T lymphocyte helper/inducer and cytotoxic/suppressor subpopulations in mouse and man. J Exp Med 153:310–323, 1981

  9. 9.

    Evans RL, Wall DW, Platsoucas CD,et al. Thymus-dependent membrane antigens in man: Inhibition of cell-mediated lympholysis by monoclonal antibodies to TH2 antigen. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78:544–548, 1981

  10. 10.

    Reinherz EL, Kung PC, Goldstein G, Schlossman SF: Separation of functional subsets of human T cells by a monoclonal antibody. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:4061–4065, 1979

  11. 11.

    Reinherz EL, Kung PC, Goldstein G, Schlossman SF: A monoclonal antibody with selective reactivity with functionally mature human thymocytes and all peripheral human T cells. J Immunol 123:1312–1317, 1979

  12. 12.

    De Waele M, Thielemans C, Van Camp BKG: Characterization of immunoregulatory T cells in EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis by monoclonal antibodies. N Engl J Med 304:460–462, 1981

  13. 13.

    Thomas H: T cell subsets in patients with acute and chronic HBV infection, primary biliary cirrhosis and alcohol induced liver disease. Int J Immunopharmacol 3:301–305, 1981

  14. 14.

    Carney WP, Rubin RH, Hoffman RA,et al. Analysis of T lymphocyte subsets in cytomegalovirus mononucleosis. J Immunol 126:2114–2116, 1981

  15. 15.

    Tosato G, Magrath I, Koski I,et al. Activation of suppressor T cells during Epstein-Barr virus-induced infectious mononucleosis. N Engl J Med 301:1133–1137, 1979

  16. 16.

    Boyum A: Isolation of mononuclear cells and granulocytes from human blood. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 21:77–108, 1968

  17. 17.

    Saxon A, Feldhaus JL, and Robbins RA: Single step separation of human T and B cells using AET-treated SRBC rosettes. J Immunol Methods 12:285–289, 1979

  18. 18.

    Mage MG, McHugh LL, Rothstein TL: Mouse lymphocytes with and without surface immunoglobulin: Preparative scale separation in polystyrene tissue culture dishes coated with specifically purified anti-immunoglobulin. J Immunol Methods 15:47–56, 1977

  19. 19.

    Wysocki LJ, Sato VL: “Panning” for lymphocytes: A method for cell selection. Proc Natl Acad Sci 75:2844–2848, 1978

  20. 20.

    Stevens R, Saxon A: Immunoregulation in humans—control of antitetanus toxoid antibody production after booster immunization. J Clin Invest 62:1154–1160, 1978

  21. 21.

    Stevens R, Saxon A: Differential synthesis of IgM and IgG antitetanus antibody in vitro following in vivo booster immunization of humans. Cell Immunol 45:142–150, 1979

  22. 22.

    Siegal FP, Siegal M: Enhancement by irradiated T cells of human plasma cell production: Dissection of helper and suppressor functions in vitro. J Immunol 118:642–647, 1977

  23. 23.

    Waldmann TA, Broder S, Blaese RM,et al. Role of suppressor cells in human disease.In Biological Basis of Immunodeficiency, EW Gelfand, HM Dosch (eds). New York, Raven Press, 1980, pp 223–239

  24. 24.

    Schulof RS, Chorba TL, Ney A: Are the suppressor cells suppressing in infectious mononucleosis. N Engl J Med 304:1492, 1981

  25. 25.

    Rosen A, Gergely P, Jondal M,et al. Polyclonal Ig production after Epstein-Barr virus infection of human lymphocytes in vitro. Nature 267:52–54, 1977

  26. 26.

    Kirchner H, Tosato G, Blaese RM,et al. Polyclonal immunoglobulin secretion by human B lymphocytes exposed to Epstein-Barr virus in vitro. J Immunol 122:1310–1313, 1979

  27. 27.

    Ziegler JL, Wagner G, Greenspan JS,et al. Diffuse, undifferentiated non-Hodgkins lymphoma among homosexual males—United States. Morbid Mortal Week Rep 31:277–279, 1982

  28. 28.

    Quinnan GV, Kirmani N, Rook AH,et al. Cytotoxic T cells in cytomegalovirus infection: HLA-restricted T-lymphocyte and non-T-lymphocyte cytotoxic responses correlate with recovery from cytomegalovirus infection in bone-marrow-transplant recipients. N Engl J Med 307:7–13, 1982

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Etty Benveniste.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Benveniste, E., Schroff, R., Stevens, R.H. et al. Immunoregulatory T cells in men with a new acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. J Clin Immunol 3, 359–367 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00915797

Download citation

Key words

  • Immunoglobulin synthesis
  • T-cell subsets
  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome