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Overexpression of Fas/CD95 and Fas-Induced Apoptosis in a Patient with Idiopathic CD4⁺ T Lymphocytopenia

Pierre-Marie Roger, Ghislaine Bernard-Pomier, Evelyne Counillon, Jean-Philippe Breittmayer, Alain Bernard and Pierre Dellamonica
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Vol. 28, No. 5 (May, 1999), pp. 1012-1016
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4481800
Page Count: 5
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Overexpression of Fas/CD95 and Fas-Induced Apoptosis in a Patient with Idiopathic CD4⁺ T Lymphocytopenia
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Abstract

The mechanisms of apoptosis have become better understood, in part with the discovery of Fas/CD95. We report the case of a patient characterized by a decreased CD4⁺ T cell count and an overexpression of Fas/CD95 resulting in apoptosis. A 54-year-old man presented with disseminated Mycobacterium xenopi infection. Analysis showed CD4⁺ T lymphopenia. Tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) types 1 and 2 were negative. We compared the patient with eight healthy controls and five HIV-infected patients in terms of the expression of Fas/CD95 and Fas-mediated apoptosis of peripheral T lymphocytes. The percent of CD95⁺ cells in lymphocytes was 98% for the patient, and the mean percent of CD95⁺ cells in lymphocytes ± SD for HIV-infected patients and healthy controls was 75% ± 16% and 36% ± 26%, respectively. The patient had a high level of spontaneous apoptosis, and apoptotic cells were all identified as being CD4⁺ T cells. Monoclonal antibodies to CD95 dramatically increased apoptosis of CD4⁺ T cells exclusively. CD4⁺ T lymphopenia observed in our patient correlated with an overexpression of Fas together with spontaneous and Fas-induced apoptosis.

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