Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 208, Issue 5, pp 641–650 | Cite as

Different roles of CXCR1 and CXCR2 in HTLV-1 carriers and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) patients

  • Taraneh Rajaei
  • Hamid Farajifard
  • Seyed Abdolrahim Rezaee
  • Mahmoud Reza Azarpazhooh
  • Mahmoud Mahmoudi
  • Narges Valizadeh
  • Houshang RafatpanahEmail author
Original Investigation


One of the prominent features of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is the excessive recruitment of leukocytes to the central nervous system (CNS), which leads to an inflammatory response—with chemokines and their receptors playing the main role in this recruitment. The aim of the study was to examine the relation of CXCR1 and CXCR2, both of which are involved in the trafficking of lymphocytes into the CNS, with the outcome of HTLV-1 infection. The mRNA levels of CXCR1 and CXCR2 were examined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HAM/TSP patients, HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers (ACs), and healthy controls (HCs). Furthermore, the frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing CXCR1 and CXCR2 was evaluated in the studied groups. The results of the present study showed a substantial increase in the mean mRNA expression of CXCR2 in the HAM/TSP patients compared to the HCs and ACs (p < 0.001). A positive correlation was also found between PVL and CXCR2 mRNA expression in the total population of HTLV-1-infected subjects (R = 0.526, p < 0.001). Moreover, the percentage of CD8+ CXCR2-expressing cells was higher in HAM/TSP patients compared to ACs and HCs (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively). Although the percentage of CD4+ CXCR2-expressing cells was higher in HAM/TSP patients than in ACs and HCs, a significant difference was only found between HAM/TSP patients and HCs (p < 0.05). No significant difference in the CXCR1 mRNA expression was observed in the studied groups. The frequency of the CD8+ CXCR1- and CD4+ CXCR1-expressing cells was significantly lower in HAM/TSP patients than in ACs and HCs (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, the high frequency of CXCR2 CD8+ T cells and the high levels of CXCR2 mRNA expression in HAM/TSP patients are associated with disease pathogenesis, while the high frequencies of CXCR1 T cells in ACs might suggest that these cells act as effector CD8 T cells and are involved in controlling the viral spread and modulation of the immune response.





This study was financially supported by Vice Chancellor for Research, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest for this study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee. The study was approved by ethics committee of Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad (No. 89659).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taraneh Rajaei
    • 1
  • Hamid Farajifard
    • 2
  • Seyed Abdolrahim Rezaee
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Reza Azarpazhooh
    • 3
  • Mahmoud Mahmoudi
    • 4
  • Narges Valizadeh
    • 1
  • Houshang Rafatpanah
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Immunology Research Center, Division of Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, Faculty of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Ghaem HospitalMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Immunology Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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