Omenn's syndrome is an inherited human combined immunodeficiency condition characterized by the presence of a large population of activated and tissue-infiltrating T cells. Analysis of the TCRB repertoire revealed a highly restricted TCRBV usage in three patients. More strikingly, T cell clones from the three patients expressed TCRB chains with VDJ junction similarities, suggesting a common antigenic specificity. Analysis of the TCRA repertoire in one patient also revealed a restricted TCRAV usage. Finally, analysis of the TCRBV repertoire of tissue-infiltrating T cells in one patient suggested nonrandom tissue migration. These results suggest that the oligoclonal expansion of T cells observed in Omenn's syndrome could be the consequence of autoimmune proliferation generated by a profound defect in lymphocyte development.
F Rieux-Laucat, P Bahadoran, N Brousse, F Selz, A Fischer, F Le Deist, J P De Villartay