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J Clin Invest. 1998 Nov 15;102(10):1831-40.

Identification and precursor frequency analysis of a common T cell epitope motif in mitochondrial autoantigens in primary biliary cirrhosis.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.

Abstract

The immunodominant antimitochondrial antibody response in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is directed against the E2 component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC-E2). Based on our earlier observations regarding peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) T cell epitopes, we reasoned that a comparative analysis of the precursor frequencies of PDC-E2 163-176-specific T cells isolated from PBMC, regional hepatic lymph nodes, and from the liver of PBC patients would provide insight regarding the role of T cells in PBC. Results showed a disease-specific 100-150-fold increase in the precursor frequency of PDC-E2 163-176-specific T cells in the hilar lymph nodes and liver when compared with PBMC from PBC patients. Interestingly, autoreactive T cells and autoantibodies from PBC patients both recognize the same dominant epitope. In addition, we demonstrated cross-reactivity of PDC-E2 peptide 163-176-specific T cell clones with PDC-E2 peptide 36-49 and OGDC-E2 peptide 100-113 thereby identifying a common T cell epitope "motif" ExETDK. The peptide 163-176-specific T cell clones also reacted with purified native PDC-E2, suggesting that this epitope is not a cryptic determinant. These data provide evidence for a major role for PDC-E2 peptide 163-176 and/or peptides bearing a similar motif in the pathogenesis of PBC.

PMID:
9819369
PMCID:
PMC509133
DOI:
10.1172/JCI4213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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