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Int Immunol. 1992 Jun;4(6):661-71.

Reversal of in vitro T cell clonal anergy by IL-2 stimulation.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Stimulation of a normal type I mouse T helper cell clone (TH1) with concanavalin A in the absence of antigen presenting cells (APC) in vitro results in the induction of a hyporesponsive state known as T cell clonal anergy. This state is characterized by a decrease in proliferation following stimulation with antigen and APC resulting from a decrease in the production of IL-2. Production of the lymphokines IL-3/granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor and IFN-gamma is also reduced, although to a lesser degree. Stimulation of such anergic cells with IL-2 results in proliferation and a complete reversal of the state. We demonstrate that this reversal is not due to the outgrowth of a subpopulation of cells that had escaped anergy induction, but rather occurs in all the cells. Anergy also dissipated spontaneously, although much more slowly, in the absence of T cell antigen receptor occupancy. Finally, we show that a similar state can be produced by normal activation with antigen and APC if IL-2 and other factors are removed at 16-20 h. These results indicate that the anergic state is not a permanent change in the TH1 cell. Anergy induction appears to be a consequence of the inability of the cell to divide extensively following stimulation through the antigen-specific receptor. We propose a model to explain these results in terms of a relatively stable negative regulatory factor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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