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J Immunol. 1998 May 15;160(10):4869-80.

Modulation of T cell cytokine profiles and peptide-MHC complex availability in vivo by delivery to scavenger receptors via antigen maleylation.

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  • 1National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India.


We have previously shown that conversion of proteins to scavenger receptor (SR) ligands by maleylation increases their immunogenicity. We now show that maleyl-Ag-immune spleen cells make relatively more IFN-gamma and less IL-4 or IL-10 than native Ag-immune cells. This is also reflected in the IgG1:IgG2a ratios in Abs generated in vivo. SR engagement on macrophages does not alter their surface levels of the adhesive/costimulatory molecules CD11a/CD18, CD11b/CD18, CD24, CD54, or CD40, nor does it enhance their ability to support anti-CD3-driven proliferation of naive T cells in vitro. Costimulatory molecules implicated in differential Th1/Th2 commitment--CD80, CD86, and IL-12--are not inducible by SR ligation. In addition to macrophages and dendritic cells, B cells also show receptor-mediated uptake and enhanced presentation of maleyl-Ags. Using a monoclonal T cell line to detect peptide-MHC complexes expressed on spleen cells in Ag-injected mice, we find that higher levels of these complexes are generated in vivo from maleyl-proteins and they persist longer than those generated from the native protein. Together, these data suggest that in certain situations, the levels of cognate ligand available and/or the time course of their availability may play a major role in determining the cytokine profiles of the responding T cells in addition to the costimulatory signals implicated so far.

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