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Wiesener, Solveigh Charlotte (2003): Das T-Zell-Rezeptor-Repertoire bei der Polymyositis: Untersuchungen mit Hilfe der Technik des CDR3-Spectratyping. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Polymyositis (PM) is an autoimmune disease cased by CD8+ T lymphocytes that destroy HLA class I-expressing skeletal muscle fibres. Recently we demonstrated that the autoaggressive T lymphocytes in PM muscle are clonally expanded. We employed a new PCR-based method to identify and characterize clonally expanded T cell populations. The method (CDR3-Spectratyping) relies on te natural length variation of the third hypervariable region (CDR3) of the rearranged T cell receptor gene: whereas a polyclonal T cell population shows a random, Gauss-distributed length variation of the CDR3, a clonally expanded population has a uniform CDR3 length, which can be identified as a single band on a sequencing gel. We analysed matched pairs of cDNA from muscle biopsies and peripheral blood lymphocytes of PM patients and confirmed previously identified expanded T cell clones in muscle biopsy specimen. Moreover, we repeatedly detected identical clonally expanded T cell populations both in the imflamed muscle tissue and in the peripheral blood of untreated PM patients.