AUTOLOGOUS ROSETTE FORMING CELLS IN SUBJECTS AT RISK FOR THE ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME
AbstractWe investigated the distribution of autologous rosette forming cells (ARFC) in the peripheral blood from subjects at risk for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The mean percentage of ARFC with autologous plasma from 35 male homosexual individuals was significantly lower than that of 31 normal controls. The mean percentage of ARFC of SARA had a direct linear correlation with the percentage of T4+ cells (p<0.01). Within the SARA group, those with antibodies against HTLV-III/LAV had percentages of ARFC significantly lower than SARA with negative antibodies. Plasma from SARA decreased the percentage of ARFC of normal cells when compared to normal homologous plasma (p<0.005), whereas normal homologous plasma did not modify the low percentage of ARFC from SARA. These results indicate that SARA possess a depletion of this subpopulation of T cells. This is more pronounced in subjects with anti-HTLV-III/LAV antibodies. The low ARFC is related to a decrease in the number of cells that correlates with the number of T4+ cells. The inhibition of normal ARFC by plasma from SARA suggests the existence of plasma factors that could mask the lymphocyte receptors for their own red blood cells and/or coat erythrocytes preventing lymphocyte-erythrocyte binding.