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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

T cell repertoire in the liver of patients with autoimmune hepatitis.

Despite a large number of T cells infiltrating into the liver of patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), little is known about their roles or target antigens. To investigate the roles of these T cells in the pathogenesis of AIH, we have studied the clonality of alphabeta T cell populations in liver tissue by size spectratyping the complementarity-determining region (CDR)3 size lengths of T cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta-chain transcripts. Analysis of nine AIH patients who had the HLA DR4 haplotype showed clonal expansion in all samples. More than two T cell clones expanded in most patients. Although the expression of the TCR Vbeta genes was different among the nine patients, clonal expansion of T cells expressing either TCR Vbeta2, 3, 4, 16, or 22 was observed in two patients or more. TCR Vbeta4 clones expanded in 5 cases. Cloning and sequencing of TCR Vbeta CDR3 from PCR products revealed no whole CDR3-shared clones among different patients. In conclusion, several T cell clonotypes first recognize target antigens, then expand and accumulate in the liver of AIH patients. These suggest heterogeneity of autoantigens and the complexity of AIH immunopathogenesis in individual patients.[1]


  1. T cell repertoire in the liver of patients with autoimmune hepatitis. Yoshizawa, K., Ota, M., Katsuyama, Y., Ichijo, T., Inada, H., Umemura, T., Tanaka, E., Kiyosawa, K. Hum. Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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