Author(s): Nakamura T, Furuya T, Nishiura Y, Ichinose K, Shirabe S,
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Abstract Although the principal neuropathological feature of human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I)-associated myelopathy (HAM) is chronic inflammation of the spinal cord, characterized by perivascular cuffing of mononuclear cells accompanied by parenchymal lymphocytic infiltration, the precise mechanisms by which HTLV-I infection causes chronic inflammation of the spinal cord are still obscure. In patients with HAM, peripheral blood CD4(+)T lymphocytes, particularly HTLV-I-infected CD4(+)T lymphocytes, have increased adherent activity to endothelial cells and transmigrating activity through basement membranes. In addition, the profile of cytokine expression suggests increased numbers of Th1 cells in peripheral blood CD4(+)T lymphocytes of patients with HAM. These findings strongly suggest that immune deviation toward Th1, which might be based on high viral load of HTLV-I, plays an important role in tissue damage in the central nervous system of patients with HAM. We herein emphasize the importance of activated Th1 cells as the first trigger in the immunopathogenesis of HAM. Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation