Are Retroviruses Involved in the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Diseases?

  • E. F. Krapf
Conference paper

Abstract

Large portions of mammalian genomes consist of DNA sequences originally derived from retroviruses during ontogenesis. The majority of these retroviral sequences are non-infectious. However, during the past few years, evidence has been gained for the hypothesis that retroviral sequences or their products might play a role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases (Table 1). The question
Table 1

Indications for retroviruses in autoimmune diseases

Reference

Indication

Melors and Mellors [25a]

Anti-type C-RV antibodies in SLE patients

Okamoto et al. [27]

Antibodies against endogenous RV-polymerase in human SLE

Rucheton et al. [38]

Antibodies against p30 gag in patients with SLE and MCTD

Shirai et al. [42]

Anti-gp 70 antibody is correlated with autoantibody production and SLE-like disease in mice

Denman, 1986:

Unusual interferons are found in SLE and AIDS patients

Olsen et al. [28]

HTLV 1 antigenic determinants expressed in PBL of SLE patients

Keene, 1987:

U1 RNP-associated p70 contains the immunodominant epitope of p30 gag: p30 gag provokes autoantibodies

Volk et al. [49b]

The number of activated CD 5+ B cells is elevated in SLE and AIDS patients

Via et al. [49a]

Autoreactive B cell clones may be triggered by viruses and maintained by defective CTL

Reddy et al. [36a]

Amplification and molecular cloning of HTLV 1 sequences from DNA of multiple sclerosis patients

Talal et al. [46, 47]

Thirty percent of patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome and 36% of SLE patients show antibody reactivity against p24 core rotein of HIV Ia

a Was not confirmed by Krapf et al. [20] Venables (personal communication) and Krieg

(personal communication)

Table 2

Immunologic features in HIV 1-infected persons (modified from [54])

Follicular hyperplasia

Loss of dendritic cells

Progressive lymphoid atrophy

Hypergammaglobulinemia

Circulating immune complexes

Acid-labile serum interferon

Increased lymphokine production

Depletion of CD 4 lymphocytes

Impaired alpha IF production

Antibodies against myelin basic protein in sera and cerebrospinal fluid

Table 3

Rheumatic manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus infection (according to [10a])

Arthralgias

Reactive arthritis

HLA B 27-related Reiter’s syndrome

Non-HLA B 27-related Reiter’s syndrome

HIV-associated arthropathy

Psoriatic arthritis

Polymyositis, dermatomyositis

Sjögren’s syndrome

Necrotizing vasculitis

Other connective tissue disorders

now arises whether newly discovered infectious retroviruses might induce autoimmune diseases. Many autoimmune features of HIV 1 infection point to this possibility (Table 2, 3).

Keywords

Leukemia Pancreatitis Polypeptide Interferon Adenine 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. F. Krapf
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine IIIFriedrich Alexander University Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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