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Immunology. 1991 Oct;74(2):234-9.

Regulation of T-cell sensitization at epithelial surfaces in the respiratory tract: suppression of IgE responses to inhaled antigens by CD3+ Tcr alpha-/beta- lymphocytes (putative gamma/delta T cells).

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Division of Cell Biology, Western Australian Research Institute for Child Health, Princess Margaret Hospital, Subiaco.


Repeated exposure of Brown Norway rats to an aerosol of ovalbumin (OVA) induced a state of antigen-specific immunological tolerance, particularly in the IgE isotype. Tolerance was transferable to naive syngeneic animals by inoculation of splenic T cells from tolerant rats. Sequential depletion of tolerant spleen cells by sorting techniques prior to adoptive transfer, employing T-cell subset-specific monoclonal antibodies, indicated that the cells mediating tolerance were CD3+, CD4-, CD5+ and CD8+, but lacked alpha or beta chains in the T-cell receptor (TcR), suggesting that they may be part of the gamma/delta T-cell lineage. Consistent with this suggestion, the sorted population demonstrated considerable enrichment for TcR gamma chain-specific mRNA. As few as 2 x 10(3) cells are sufficient to adoptively transfer tolerance in 200-g adult rats in this model.

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