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Clin Immunol. 2009 Dec;133(3):353-63. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2009.08.008. Epub 2009 Sep 27.

Autoimmune T cell responses to antigenic peptides presented by bronchoalveolar lavage cell HLA-DR molecules in sarcoidosis.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Lung Research Laboratory, L4:01, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.


The etiology of sarcoidosis remains unknown. Recently, by mass spectrometric sequencing of peptides eluted from HLA-DR molecules of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from DRB10301(pos) patients, we identified potential self-antigens in sarcoidosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the capacity of selected peptides to stimulate lung and blood T cells of sarcoidosis patients using an interferon-gamma ELISPOT assay. In peripheral blood, there were strong T cell responses to a peptide derived from the cytoskeletal protein vimentin in 6 out of 11 DRB10301(pos) patients with active disease but not in patients with other HLA types. BAL T cell responses against peptides derived from ATP synthase or from lysyl-tRNA synthetase were detected in DRB10301(pos) as well as DRB10301(neg) patients. By using antigenic peptides presented in vivo in the lungs of sarcoidosis patients, we have identified blood and lung T cell autoimmune responses that may help sustain the inflammation in this disease.

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