To detect possible differences in phenotype and fine specificity for mycobacterial antigens between CD4-positive T cells from peripheral blood (PB) and from inflammatory sites, we identified four patients presenting with a mycobacterial pleural exudate (PE) rich in PPD-specific lymphocytes and with a negative skin test to tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) and a negative proliferative response of PB lymphocytes to PPD at the same time. Several weeks after chemotherapy, these patients converted to PPD responsiveness in the periphery, and PPD-specific clones could be generated from PB at this stage. The phenotypic comparison of PE lymphocytes and concomitant PB lymphocytes obtained before treatment showed an increase of CD8 cells and a high frequency of HLA-DR-positive activated T cells in PE. The frequency of tetanus toxoid-specific and Candida albicans-specific proliferating T cells was lower than that of PPD-specific cells in PE but not in PB. PPD-specific clones were derived initially from PE and from PB once the patients had converted to PPD responsiveness. The two sets of clones from each patient were compared for proliferative response to mycobacterial antigen clusters of defined molecular weight ranges. A large number of PE-derived clones (36%) responded to a fraction of 27 to 35 kDa, whereas only one clone from PB responded to the same fraction. The purified antigen P32 (32 kDa), a soluble mycobacterial protein, stimulated PE-derived clones that were responsive to the 37- to 27-kDa fraction but did not stimulate PB-derived clones. The data demonstrate that PE- and PB-derived lymphocytes differ both in phenotype and in fine specificity, suggesting a limited clonal heterogeneity of T cells localizing at the inflammatory site in tuberculous patients without a PPD response in the periphery. Therefore T cells compartmentalized at inflammatory sites provide information that is different from that provided by T cells in the periphery.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas