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J Mol Cell Immunol. 1989;4(3):129-37.

Asymmetry in the recognition of antigen: self class II MHC and non-self class II MHC molecules by the same T-cell receptor.

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Department of Pathology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


One of the most puzzling observations in immunology is the very high frequency of T cells reactive to non-self MHC molecules. Earlier studies from our laboratory suggested that the same receptor on a cloned T-cell line recognized both self-class II MHC: antigen complexes and non-self class II MHC, the latter at a significantly lower affinity. This suggested that alloreactivity resulted from low affinity cross-reactions of the T-cell receptor to a ligand presented at high multiplicity. The present studies address the question of whether these two ligands are recognized symmetrically by this receptor, and of whether different subsites in the receptor recognize both classes of ligands equally. In the present studies, we have greatly extended our analysis of T-cell receptor recognition of antigen: self class II MHC and non-self class II MHC. Using Fab fragments of monoclonal anti-T-cell receptor antibodies as monovalent competitive antagonists of T-cell activation, the response of cloned H-2k T-cell line D10 to conalbumin: I-Ak and to the allogeneic ligands I-Ab,v,p,q was analyzed with monoclonal antibodies directed at 3 clonotypic epitopes and one on V beta. These studies confirmed our earlier finding that D10 activation by antigen: self class II MHC is more difficult to inhibit with clonotypic Fab fragments binding to three distinct clonotypic epitopes than are responses to non-self MHC. More importantly, the Fab fragment of anti-V beta monoclonal antibodies preferentially inhibit activation by antigen: self class II MHC, and do so more efficiently than expected, based on the numbers of molecules of Fab bound.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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