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J Immunol. 1988 Nov 15;141(10):3361-9.

Regulation of antibody production by helper T cell clones in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

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  • 1Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037.


Ten acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-specific T cell clones from Lewis rats were studied. These clones had various AChR subunit and peptide specificities, and proliferated in response to antigen on appropriate APC. All the T cell clones were CD4+CD8- and OX22-, helped anti-AChR antibody production by AChR-primed lymph node B cells, and could secrete IL-2. However, several lines of evidence suggested that IL-2 was not the lymphokine that mediated T cell help. B cells primed with native AChR and then exposed in culture to very low concentrations of native AChR effectively presented the Ag to the T cell lines, presumably due to uptake via Ag receptors, but primed B cells were no more effective than were non-specific APC at presenting a synthetic AChR peptide which is recognized by AChR-specific T cells but not by AChR-specific B cells. Increasing AChR doses produced an antibody production response that was bell shaped and low doses stimulated, whereas higher AChR concentrations suppressed the antibody production response. Evidence suggested that AChR exerted its inhibitory effect through the T cells, but not via IL-2.

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