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J Clin Invest. 2007 May;117(5):1361-9. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Antibody-enhanced cross-presentation of self antigen breaks T cell tolerance.

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Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY, USA.


We have developed a model of autoimmunity to investigate autoantibody-mediated cross-presentation of self antigen. RIP-mOVA mice, expressing OVA in pancreatic beta cells, develop severe autoimmune diabetes when given OT-I cells (OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells) and anti-OVA IgG but not when given T cells alone. Anti-OVA IgG is not directly injurious to the islets but rather enhances cross-presentation of apoptotic islet antigen to the OT-I cells, leading to their differentiation into potent effector cells. Antibody-driven effector T cell activation is dependent on the presence of activating Fc receptors for IgG (FcgammaRs) and cross-priming DCs. As a consequence, diabetes incidence and severity was reduced in mice lacking activating FcgammaRs. An intact complement pathway was also required for disease development, as C3 deficiency was also partially protective. C3-deficient animals exhibited augmented T cell priming overall, indicating a proinflammatory role for complement activation after the T cell priming phase. Thus, we show that autoreactive antibody can potently enhance the activation of effector T cells in response to cross-presented self antigen, thereby contributing to T cell-mediated autoimmunity.

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