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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Jan;30(1):136-44.

Anergy and suppression regulate CD4(+) T cell responses to a self peptide.

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The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, USA.


To examine the role of cognate peptide in establishing CD4(+) T cell tolerance, we have mated transgenic mice that express the major I-E(d)-restricted determinant (S1) from the influenza virus PR8 hemagglutinin (HA28 mice) with mice expressing a S1-specific T cell receptor (TS1 mice). Surprisingly, S1-specific CD4(+) T cells were not substantially deleted in TS1xHA28 mice; indeed, lymph node cells expressing the S1-specific TCR were as abundant in TS1xHA28 mice as in TS1 mice. The S1-specific T cells in TS1xHA28 mice were, however, impaired in their ability to respond to S1 peptide both in vitro and in vivo, and contained two distinct populations. Approximately half expressed a unique cell surface phenotype (CD25(hi)/CD45RB(int)) and had been anergized by the neo-self S1 peptide. The remainder responded normally to the S1 peptide if purified away from the anergic T cells, but their proliferation was suppressed when the anergic T cells were also present in unfractionated lymphnode cells or in mixed cultures. These findings establish that anergy and suppression are coordinated mechanisms by which autoreactive CD4(+) T cells are regulated and that anergic/suppressor CD4(+) T cells can develop in response to self peptides.

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