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Primary Sjögren's syndrome with antibodies to HTLV-I: clinical and laboratory features.
  1. K Eguchi,
  2. N Matsuoka,
  3. H Ida,
  4. M Nakashima,
  5. M Sakai,
  6. S Sakito,
  7. A Kawakami,
  8. K Terada,
  9. H Shimada,
  10. Y Kawabe
  1. First Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


    The prevalence of antibodies to human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) was studied in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome. Thirteen of 36 serum samples were positive by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and particle agglutination assay for antibodies to HTLV-I and were confirmed by western blotting. The presence of antibodies to HTLV-I may signify an HTLV-I carrier state. These patients had a high occurrence of extraglandular manifestations such as uveitis, myopathy, and recurrent high fever compared with patients who did not have antibodies to HTLV-I. Patients with antibodies to HTLV-I had an increased spontaneous proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells compared with those without the antibodies. The proportions of activated and memory T cells (HLA-DR+ CD3+, CD25+ CD3+, and CD29+ CD4+ cells) were higher in HTLV-I carriers than in non-carriers. The presence of antibodies to HTLV-I in some patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome suggests that HTLV-I may cause primary Sjögren's syndrome or its extraglandular manifestations, or both.

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