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Human T-cell responses to Mycoplasma arthritidis-derived superantigen.

By N Bhardwaj, A S Hodtsev, A Nisanian, S Kabak, S M Friedman, B C Cole and D N Posnett


When injected into mice, Mycoplasma arthritidis causes a chronic arthritis that resembles rheumatoid arthritis, histologically. The organism produces a superantigen termed Mycoplasma arthritidis mitogen or MAM, that in humans preferentially expands T cells whose antigen receptors express V beta 17. T cells with this phenotype appear to be increased in rheumatoid synovial effusions. We describe a novel approach to isolating and characterizing human MAM-reactive T-cell lines and determining their T-cell receptor (TCR) V beta usage. Lines were prepared from T cells that clustered with dendritic cells during a 2-day exposure to MAM. Cluster and noncluster fractions of T cells were then expanded by using feeder cells and a polyclonal mitogen. Most of the MAM reactivity was found in dendritic T-cell clusters, as were most of the T cells expressing TCR V beta 17. After expansion, 76% of the cluster-derived T-cell lines were MAM reactive, while no reactivity was seen in cell lines derived from the noncluster fraction. Of the MAM-reactive lines, 49% expressed V beta 17 on some or all of the cells. Cell lines from both cluster and noncluster fractions were analyzed for TCR V beta mRNA expression by PCR amplification. Other V beta genes (5.1, 7, 8, 12, and 20) were found to be expressed by lines that were MAM reactive, although these were not a major component of the cluster-derived T cells. Some non-cluster-derived lines expressed V beta s 17, 12, and 7, but these proved to be nonreactive to MAM. Therefore, dendritic cells can be used to immunoselect and characterize T cells that express superantigen-reactive TCRs

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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