To evaluate the role of the OKT4 epitope in human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) infection, we studied the susceptibility to HHV-7 infection of CD4 T cells isolated from two individuals with OKT4 epitope deficiency. HHV-7-infected OKT4Leu3a T cells exhibited the characteristic cytopathic effect, reactivity with HHV-7-seropositive serum by immuno-fluorescence and down-modulation of surface CD4 in a manner similar to HHV-7-infected OKT4Leu3a T cells. A semiquantitative PCR revealed that the amounts of HHV-7 replicated in OKT4Leu3a T cells and OKT4 Leu3a T cells were not significantly different. Although it has been reported that OKT4 monoclonal antibody efficiently inhibits HHV-7 infection, the present study demonstrated that the interaction of HHV-7 with CD4 T cells does not require participation of the epitope defined by OKT4 monoclonal antibody.


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