HIROAKI ISHIMARU, M.D.; KENICHI ITO, M.D.; JUN NAKAGAWA, M.D.; MASAICHI FUKASE, M.D.
Human lymphocytes in the peripheral blood that form rosettes spontaneously with sheep erythrocytes (E rosettes) are thymus-derived. Bone marrow-derived lymphocytes (B cells), can bind antigen-antibody-complement complex by using the presence of receptors for the third factor of complement on the cell surface (EAC cells).
Wybran and Fudenberg (1) suggested several hypotheses to explain the mechanism of depressed E rosettes in viral diseases, namely, that  viruses sterically hinder the receptors for sheep erythrocytes or may turn off the synthesis of such receptors;  viruses alter the lymphocyte metabolism so that modifications of the lymphocyte membrane prevent rosette formation with sheep
ISHIMARU H, ITO K, NAKAGAWA J, FUKASE M. T Cells and B Cells in HBsAg-Positive Patients with Chronic Persistent Hepatitis and Asymptomatic Carriers. Ann Intern Med. ;84:444–445. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-84-4-444
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1976;84(4):444-445.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease.
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