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Immunity. 2002 Jun;16(6):759-67.

Activated T cell death in vivo mediated by proapoptotic bcl-2 family member bim.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Medicine, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


At the end of the T cell response, the majority of the activated T cells die. We activated Vbeta8(+) T cells with staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) in vivo and monitored the expansion and deletion of Vbeta8(+) T cells. We found that, in response to SEB, activated T cells died in vivo in the absence of Fas or TNF-R signaling but not when they overexpressed human Bcl-2. We also found that Vbeta8(+) T cells from Bim-deficient mice are resistant to SEB-induced deletion. While Bim levels did not change, endogenous Bcl-2 levels within Vbeta8(+) T cells decrease following SEB injection. Thus, the death of superantigen-stimulated T cells in vivo is mediated by Bim and may be modulated by a decrease in Bcl-2.

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