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Eur J Immunol. 1993 Jan;23(1):33-8.

Inflammation activates self hsp60-specific T cells.

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Department of Medicine (Rheumatology), University of Newcastle upon Tyne, GB.


Injection of incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) into the footpads of BALB/c mice induced an acute inflammation. Draining popliteal lymph nodes showed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-restricted proliferation when challenged in vitro with recombinant Mycobacterium bovis 65-kDa heat shock protein (hsp65). alpha beta T cell receptor-positive, CD4+, hsp65-specific T cell lines and clones were generated from these lymph nodes, and 87% of clones responded to a beta galactosidase fusion protein containing residues 238-573 of human hsp60. Seventy percent of these hsp60-responsive clones also responded to a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 412-423 of the mouse hsp60. This peptide also induced significant responses in IFA-primed lymph node cells but not in lymphoid cells from unimmunized mice. These results demonstrate that T cells specific for epitopes in self hsp60 are activated during inflammatory responses induced in the absence of exogenous bacterial hsp65. The findings of this study may provide a basis for understanding the often reported isolation of mycobacterial hsp65-responsive T cells from inflammatory sites of arthritis patients, and the protective effects of preimmunization with hsp65 in experimental models of arthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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