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J Immunol. 2000 May 15;164(10):5251-7.

Retargeting T cell-mediated inflammation: a new perspective on autoantibody action.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


To understand the pathogenesis of organ-specific autoimmune disease requires an appreciation of how the T cell-mediated inflammation is targeted, and how the organ function is compromised. In this study, autoantibody was documented to influence both of these parameters by modulating the distribution of T cell-mediated inflammation. The murine autoimmune ovarian disease is induced by immunization with the ZP3330-342 peptide of the ovarian zona pellucida 3 glycoprotein, ZP3. Passively transferred or actively induced Ab to ZP3335-342 bound to the zona pellucida in the functional and degenerative ovarian follicles, and the ovaries remained histologically normal. Transfer of ZP3330-342 peptide-specific T cells targeted the degenerative follicles and spared the functional follicles, and the resultant interstitial oophoritis was associated with unimpaired ovarian function. Unexpectedly, the coexistence of ZP3330-342 peptide-specific T cells and zona-bound autoantibody led to a dramatic translocation of the ovarian inflammation to the growing and mature ovarian follicles, with destruction of the ovarian functional unit. Ab retargeted both Th1-induced mononuclear inflammation and Th2-induced eosinophilic inflammation, and retargeting was induced by murine and rat polyclonal Abs to multiple distinct native B cell determinants of the zona pellucida. Therefore, by reacting with the native determinants in tissue Ag, Ab alters the distribution of T cell-mediated inflammation, and results in destruction of the functional units of the target organ. We propose that this is a clinically important and previously unappreciated element of Ab action in autoimmune disease.

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