Project: Research project

Project Details


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease which is associated with
a characteristic pattern of abnormal cellular and humoral immune response
to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). RA also shows a statistical association with
the human Ia antigen, HLA-DR4. Since the abnormal EBV responses in RA
appear to be due, in part, to abnormal T4+ helper/inducer cell function, we
will study this subset of T cells by T cell cloning technology. We will isolate and characterize EBV-specific T cell clones from RA
patients and compare them to similar clones from normal, healthy
individuals. Since these T cell clones will be homogeneous cell
populations derived from single cells, differences between RA and normals
at the whole lymphocyte level will be greatly magnified. Potential
differences between RA and normal clones which will be examined include 1)
specificity for particular EBV determinants 2) Ia restriction patterns 3)
ability to regulate B cell transformation 4) ability to produce lymphokines
and 5) surface marker phenotype. Since EBV-reactive T cell clones from HLA-DR4 RA patients are such a
restricted population of cells, we will attempt to make clonally-specific
monoclonal antibodies (mcAbs) against these T cell clones. We will examine
whether these clonally-specific antibodies can modify the EBV responses of
patients' lymphocytes in vitro. In addition, we will examine the
lymphocytes of other, unrelated RA patients to see whether these mcAbs can
identify a shared "T cell idiotype" common to RA. Such clonally-specific
mcAbs may have diagnositc and immunotherapeutic potential.
Effective start/end date7/1/846/30/87


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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