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J Exp Med. 2000 Jun 5;191(11):2021-7.

Role of antigen-presenting cells in mediating tolerance and autoimmunity.

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Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada.


The mechanisms that determine whether receptor stimulation leads to lymphocyte tolerance versus activation remain poorly understood. We have used rat insulin promoter (RIP)-gp/P14 double-transgenic mice expressing the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) glycoprotein (gp) on pancreatic beta-islet cells together with T cells expressing an LCMV-gp-specific T cell receptor to assess the requirements for the induction of autoimmunity. Our studies have shown that administration of the gp peptide gp33 leads to the activation of P14-transgenic T cells, as measured by the upregulation of activation markers and the induction of effector cytotoxic activity. This treatment also leads to expansion and deletion of P14 T cells. Despite the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity, peptide administration is not sufficient to induce diabetes. However, the administration of gp peptide together with an activating anti-CD40 antibody rapidly induces diabetes. These findings suggest that the induction of tolerance versus autoimmunity is determined by resting versus activated antigen-presenting cells.

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