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Eur J Immunol. 1994 May;24(5):1181-5.

A specific intercellular pathway of apoptotic cell death is defective in the mature peripheral T cells of autoimmune lpr and gld mice.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, OH 45267-0524.


Homozygosity for either of the unlinked murine autosomal recessive mutations lpr or gld leads to autoimmunity characterized by peripheral accumulation of CD4-/CD8- "double-negative" T cells, autoantibodies and various forms of tissue pathology. Recently, the gene affected by lpr was identified as fas, whose product acts as a trigger for programmed cell death or apoptosis. Data reported here indicate that the Fas receptor and its ligand, the wild-type form of the gld gene product, are essential for antigen-stimulated peripheral T cell apoptosis. Furthermore, the wild-type gld gene product is a non-cell-autonomous protein that is produced by activated T cells. Apoptotic elimination of antigen-receptor-triggered peripheral T cells appears to be abnormal in lpr and gld mice, and this deficiency causes peripheral T cells to accumulate resulting in lymphadenopathy. These findings support the importance of apoptotic regulation of lymphocyte persistence after antigen encounter in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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