Expression of antigen reactive with a monoclonal antibody to HTLV-1 P19 in salivary glands in Sjögren's syndrome Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • To examine the possible involvement of retroviruses in Sjögren's syndrome (SS), labial salivary gland sections from 99 individuals were probed with three MoAbs to core (gag) proteins of human T cell leukaemia virus-1 (HTLV-1) and two MoAbs to HIV-1. Sections from 31% of 39 patients with primary SS (pSS) contained an epithelial cytoplasmic protein reactive with a MoAb (197) to the p19 group specific antigen (gag) of HTLV-1. The antigen was also detected in samples from 24% of 17 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and SS, 21% of 14 patients with sicca symptoms and 12.5% of 16 patients with other connective tissue diseases. It was not found in the salivary glands of 13 normal controls. A second MoAb to p19 gag, a MoAb to the p24 gag of HTLV-1 and MoAbs to HIV-1 p17 and p24 gags gave negative reactions. Serum antibodies to HTLV-1 were negative, confirming that the antigen was not part of HTLV-1. The antigen showed properties consistent with an endogenous retrovirus in that it was absent in healthy tissues or resting cells but inducible by stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). It appeared to be distinct from the endogenous retroviral sequence HRES-1. These data suggest the presence of an endogenous retrovirus in salivary gland epithelium which could contribute to the chronic inflammation of SS.

publication date

  • July 1992

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