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Immunity. 1995 Feb;2(2):185-94.

Murine CD8+ T cells that specifically delete autologous CD4+ T cells expressing V beta 8 TCR: a role of the Qa-1 molecule.

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Department of Microbiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032.


Interactions mediated by TCRs expressed on different T cell subsets may play a role in immunoregulation. To investigate this idea, we studied the regulation of superantigen-induced TCR V beta-restricted responses. We asked whether the in vivo regulation of CD4+ V beta 8+ T cells following SEB injection is controlled by CD8+ T cells. We found that in mice deficient in CD8+ T cells, the down-regulation of CD4+ V beta 8+ T cells below baseline is not observed. Moreover, following SEB administration, CD8+ T cells emerge that preferentially kill subpopulations of activated CD4+ V beta 8+ but not CD4+ V beta 8- T cells in vitro. This TCR V beta-specific cytotoxicity is dependent on beta 2-microglobulin and is inhibited by antisera specific for Qa-1 but not by antibody to MHC class Ia. These data suggest the idea that the specificity of immune regulation may involve CD8+ T cell recognition of TCR V beta determinants and Qa-1 molecules expressed on CD4+ T cells.

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