Short communication : an interferon-<tex>$\gamma$</tex> ELISPOT assay with two cytotoxic T cell epitopes derived from HTLV-1 tax region 161-233 discriminates HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis patients from asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers in a Peruvian population
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
AIDS research and human retroviruses. - New York
, p. 1207-1212
University of Antwerp
HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a chronic and progressive disorder caused by the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). In HTLV-1 infection, a strong cytotoxic T cell (CTL) response is mounted against the immunodominant protein Tax. Previous studies carried out by our group reported that increased IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) responses against the region spanning amino acids 161 to 233 of the Tax protein were associated with HAM/TSP and increased HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL). An exploratory study was conducted on 16 subjects with HAM/TSP, 13 asymptomatic carriers (AC), and 10 HTLV-1-seronegative controls (SC) to map the HAM/TSP-associated CTL epitopes within Tax region 161233. The PVL of the infected subjects was determined and the specific CTL response was evaluated with a 6-h incubation IFN-γ ELISPOT assay using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with 16 individual overlapping peptides covering the Tax region 161233. Other proinflammatory and Th1/Th2 cytokines were also quantified in the supernatants by a flow cytometry multiplex assay. In addition, a set of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles that bind with high affinity to the CTL epitopes of interest was determined using computational tools. Univariate analyses identified an association between ELISPOT responses to two new CTL epitopes, Tax 173185 and Tax 181193, and the presence of HAM/TSP as well as an increased PVL. The HLA-A*6801 allele, which is predicted to bind to the Tax 181193 peptide, was overpresented in the HAM/TSP patients tested.