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J Exp Med. 1998 May 18;187(10):1555-64.

CD4+ T cell tolerance to parenchymal self-antigens requires presentation by bone marrow-derived antigen-presenting cells.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


T cell tolerance to parenchymal self-antigens is thought to be induced by encounter of the T cell with its cognate peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ligand expressed on the parenchymal cell, which lacks appropriate costimulatory function. We have used a model system in which naive T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic hemagglutinin (HA)-specific CD4+ T cells are adoptively transferred into mice expressing HA as a self-antigen on parenchymal cells. After transfer, HA-specific T cells develop a phenotype indicative of TCR engagement and are rendered functionally tolerant. However, T cell tolerance is not induced by peptide-MHC complexes expressed on parenchymal cells. Rather, tolerance induction requires that HA is presented by bone marrow (BM)-derived cells. These results indicate that tolerance induction to parenchymal self-antigens requires transfer to a BM-derived antigen-presenting cell that presents it to T cells in a tolerogenic fashion.

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