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Science. 1994 Jun 10;264(5165):1587-9.

Anergic T cells as suppressor cells in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, UK.


T cell-mediated suppression is an established phenomenon, but its underlying mechanisms are obscure. An in vitro system was used to test the possibility that anergic T cells can act as specific suppressor cells. Anergic human T cells caused inhibition of antigen-specific and allospecific T cell proliferation. In order for the inhibition to occur, the anergic T cells had to be specific for the same antigen-presenting cells (APCs) as the T cells that were suppressed. The mechanism of this suppression appears to be competition for the APC surface and for locally produced interleukin-2.

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