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J Immunol. 1998 Jul 1;161(1):106-11.

TCR agonist and antagonist exert in vivo cross-regulation when presented on Igs.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996, USA.


Ig-PLP1 and Ig-PLP-LR are chimeric Igs expressing proteolipid protein (PLP)-derived T cell agonist (PLP1) and antagonist (PLP-LR) peptides, respectively. Both chimeras, like free PLP1 and PLP-LR peptides, induce in vivo-specific T cell responses. However, the responses induced by Ig-PLP1 and Ig-PLP-LR were cross-reactive with both PLP1 and PLP-LR peptides, while those induced by free peptides were not. Surprisingly, despite the cross-reactivity of the responses, when Ig-PLP1 and Ig-PLP-LR were administered together into mice, a dose-dependent down-regulation of both T cell responses and a reduction of IL-2 production to background levels was observed. In contrast, when T cells induced by either Ig chimera were stimulated in vitro with mixtures of free PLP1 and PLP-LR peptides, there was no down-regulation of proliferation or decrease in IL-2 production. These data indicate that Ig-PLP1 and Ig-PLP-LR exert adverse reactions on one another at the level of naive T cells, resulting in an opposite antagonism. However, naive T cells experiencing either chimera develop into cross-reactive cells, acquire resistance to TCR triggering by closely related but different peptides, and support responsiveness.

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