|Semen alloantigens and lymphocytotoxic antibodies in AIDS and ICL. |
R S Root-Bernstein,S H DeWitt
More than 90% of people with AIDS develop circulating immune complexes (CICs) and lymphocytotoxic antibodies (LCTAs). Animals infected with HIV, however, never display CICs or LCTAs, and remain healthy. Similarly, HIV-infected people who do not develop CICs or LCTAs also do not progress to AIDS. The appearance of CICs and LCTAs is, however, highly prognostic for AIDS and death. Since HIV infection does not, per se, lead to the development of CICs and LCTAs, other causes are likely. One such cause, for which both epidemiologic and experimental evidence exists, is semen. Semen components include sperm, seminal fluid, lymphocytes, and sometimes infectious agents, including HIV, mycoplasmas, and herpes and hepatitis viruses, all of which independently cause immune suppression. Extensive evidence demonstrates sperm (and various viruses) contains many proteins mimicking the CD4 protein of T-helper cells, while HIV, mycoplasmas, and seminal fluid mimic class II MHC proteins of other lymphocytes. We identify a large number of protein sequences that display such mimicry using computer homology searching, and demonstrate experimentally that sperm antibodies specifically precipitate antibodies against class II MHC mimics such as mycoplasmas, which in turn precipitate antibodies to lymphocyte antigens. These data prove that immunologic exposure to sperm and lymphocytes (as may occur in receptive anal intercourse, needle sharing, or blood transfusions) is theoretically capable of initiating lymphocytotoxic autoimmunity. Such autoimmunity may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of AIDS, and will need to be addressed clinically in high risk individuals regardless of HIV status and regardless of the success of anti-HIV prophylaxis and treatment.
|AIDS dementia complex complicated by cytomegalovirus encephalopathy. |
M Fiala,E J Singer,M C Graves,W W Tourtellotte,J A Stewart,C A Schable,R H Rhodes,H V Vinters
Journal of neurology
We have studied longitudinally ten patients with AIDS encephalopathy with respect to pathogenetic roles of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Three patients manifested typical AIDS dementia complex (ADC) (initially without retinitis and with slowly progressive cognitive, motor and behavioral abnormalities which were zidovudine-responsive, and relatively preserved CD4+ T cells), and seven patients presented with AIDS dementia complex complicated by CMV encephalopathy (ACE) (with CMV retinitis, peripheral neuropathy, altered sensorium, and rapidly declining clinical and immunological status). Whereas only HIV antibody was elevated in the spinal fluid of patients with ADC, both virus infections were active in the central nervous system of patients with ACE as shown by HIV p24 antigenemia and antigenrrhachia, elevated HIV and CMV antibody in the spinal fluid, disseminated CMV infection with retinitis, and basilar ventriculoencephalitis with multinucleated cytomegalic cells containing CMV and HIV proteins and CMV DNA. The recognition of ADC and ACE is important, since some patients with ACE may respond to ganciclovir or foscarnet.