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Chem Immunol. 1994;58:259-90.

Oral tolerance: a biologically relevant pathway to generate peripheral tolerance against external and self antigens.

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Center for Neurological Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.


OT is a relevant biological pathway for generating peripheral tolerance against both self and external antigens with minimal side effects (fig. 3). This route might, therefore, contain promising potential for the treatment of autoimmune and allergic diseases in the human (fig. 3). Thus, oral administration of autoantigens suppresses experimental autoimmune diseases (EAE, EAU, AA, collagen-induced arthritis, NOD diabetes) in a disease- and antigen-specific manner, and oral administration of alloantigens has led to increase of allograft survival. OT might be important in treatment of immune complex diseases and food allergies. OT is mediated by T lymphocytes using at least two nonmutually exclusive mechanisms: suppression and anergy. Suppression can be adoptively transferred by CD8+ T lymphocytes which act by releasing TGF-beta and IL-4 following antigen-specific triggering. Antigen-driven tissue-directed suppression occurs following oral administration of an antigen from the target organ, even if it is not the disease-inducing antigen (bystander suppression). Thus, synthetic peptides can induce OT, and tolerogenic epitopes of antigen may be different from the autoreactive epitope. Due to the promising results in animal models, OT is being tested in clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and uveitis [193, 194].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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