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Several studies have produced evidence for anti-lymphocytic antibodies (ALA) in AIDS. We attempted to demonstrate ALA by immunofluorescent flow cytometry. Normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and the T-cell line, CEM, were incubated with sera from patients with AIDS, patients with chronic HIV infection and HIV-seronegative blood donors. ALA were not detected in the AIDS sera with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled rabbit anti-mu, anti-alpha or the F(ab)2 fragment of anti-human gamma. A small number of CEM cells (2%) fluoresced with either AIDS or normal serum. A larger proportion of PBL were immunofluorescent after serum treatment but there was no difference between normal and AIDS serum. We were able to detect ALA in the serum of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with both CEM and PBL. In contrast, incubation of either CEM or PBL with some AIDS sera, and to a lesser degree normal sera, enhanced the binding of intact FITC-rabbit anti-gamma. Anti-gamma was not bound by CEM cells unexposed to human serum. The binding was blocked by rabbit immunoglobulin, demonstrable with CEM fixed in 1% formalin, and unrelated to the density of CD4 on CEM cells.


Journal article



Publication Date





167 - 170


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Antilymphocyte Serum, Cell Line, Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate, Fluoresceins, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Humans, T-Lymphocytes, Thiocyanates