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J Neuroimmunol. 2000 Oct 2;110(1-2):1-12.

Characterization of T cell receptor (TCR) of organ-specific autoimmune disease-inducing T cells and TCR-based immunotherapy with DNA vaccines.

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Department of Molecular Neuropathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Musashidai 2-6 Fuchu, 183-8526, Tokyo, Japan.


Organ-specific autoimmune diseases and their animal models are characterized by the finding that the development of the diseases is closely associated with, or induced by, T cells reactive to organ-specific antigens. Therefore, the identification of T cell receptors (TCR) used by disease-inducing T cells within a short period of time is a key factor for designing TCR-based immunotherapy. The findings introduced in this article show that TCR associated with the development of multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune diseases including encephalomyelitis (EAE), neuritis (EAN) and carditis (EAC) are identifiable by complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) spectratyping analysis and subsequent sequencing of the CDR3 region of spectratype-derived TCR clones. It is also demonstrated that immunotherapy targeting disease-associated TCR using monoclonal antibodies and DNA vaccines significantly reduced the histological severity, and completely suppressed the inflammation in some animals. Since depletion or suppression of one of several types of effector cells does not significantly improve the severity of the disease, combined TCR-based immunotherapy should be considered as a primary therapy for T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. TCR-based immunotherapy after rapid identification of autoimmune disease-associated TCR by CDR3 spectratyping can be applicable, not only to animal, but also to human autoimmune diseases whose pathomechanism is poorly understood.

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