Five asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive ; male homosexuals were immunized with the recall antigens tetanus toxoid (TT) and the three types of poliovirus present in diphtheria, tetanus, and polio vaccine. Four weeks after immunization, the in vivo response to booster immunization, the in vitro pokeweed mitogen (PWM)-induced IgG secretion, and the in vitro T cell-dependent and T cell-independent antigen-induced antibody response were assayed. Increase in serum antibody titer to TT and poliovirus was low and normal, respectively. In all five subjects studied, a high rate of spontaneous IgG production, including antibodies directed toward HIV was observed. Addition of PWM to the cultures induced suppression of the spontaneous IgG secretion. Only one donor showed a slightly increased IgG production after stimulation with PWM. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of four of the five HIV-seropositive individuals did not produce TT, or poliovirus-specific antibodies when stimulated with the respective T cell-dependent antigens. However, stimulation of these peripheral blood mononuclear cells with TT coupled to agarose beads, which was shown to be T cell-independent, resulted in the generation of IgG anti-TT antibody-forming cells.

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Journal of Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Teeuwsen, V. J. P., Logtenberg, T., Siebelink, K., Goudsmit, J., Uytdehaag, F., Osterhaus, A., & Lange, J. (1987). Analysis of the antigen- and mitogen-induced differentiation of B lymphocytes from asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive male homosexuals. Discrepancy between T cell-dependent and T cell-independent activation. Journal of Immunology, 139(9), 2929–2935. Retrieved from