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J Immunol. 1992 Sep 15;149(6):1921-6.

Antigen receptor-mediated anergy in resting T lymphocytes and T cell clones. Correlation with lymphokine secretion patterns.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The goal of these studies was to define the stimuli and factors that control the induction of anergy in unimmunized resting T lymphocytes. Initial experiments, aimed at establishing the system, showed that exposure of Th1 but not Th2 clones to immobilized anti-CD3 leads to a block in autocrine growth factor production and proliferation upon subsequent restimulation with Ag+APC. Anergy is not prevented by accessory cells, suggesting that this model of T cell tolerance may be due to receptor-mediated inhibitory signals, independent of costimulatory molecules. Culture of small (resting) unimmunized T lymphocytes with anti-CD3 +/- IL-2 induces unresponsiveness to restimulation with anti-CD3, but culture with anti-CD3+IL-4, which stimulates the differentiation of resting cells into IL-4 producers, does not induce anergy. Thus, IL-4-producing clones and bulk populations of IL-4-producing T cells are resistant to Ag receptor-mediated inhibitory stimuli. These results provide experimental models for studying the mechanisms of anergy in normal, unselected, mature T cells, and demonstrate fundamental similarities between cloned cell lines and unimmunized T lymphocytes in the induction of anergy.

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