Characterization of thymus-derived lymphocyte subsets in acute Epstein-Barr virus-induced infectious mononucleosis.
Changes in thymus-derived (T) lymphocyte subpopulation numbers were studied in patients with acute and convalescent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced infectious mononucleosis (LM). T cell subsets were characterized by the presence of Fc receptors for IgG (TG), for IgM (TM) or by the absence of either receptor (Tnon-M, non-G). We found that in acute IM, total numbers of T and B lymphocytes were elevated (p less than 0.01). Of the T lymphocyte subsets, the total number of Tnon-M, non-G lymphocytes was increased six fold compared to normal subjects (p less than 0.001) and included the majority of the atypical T lymphocytes. The number of total TG and TM lymphocytes was moderately increased (p less than 0.05). In convalescent IM patients, the number of total T cells remained slightly elevated (p less than 0.02) whereas proportions and absolute numbers of B lymphocytes and T cell subsets returned to near normal levels. Thus, acute Epstein-Barr virus-induced IM is associated with a T lymphocytosis which is composed predominantly of atypical T cells which lack detectable Fc receptors for IgG or IgM.
Haynes, BF; Schooley, RT; Grouse, JE; Payling-Wright, CR; Dolin, R; Fauci, AS
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