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J Immunol. 1997 Jun 1;158(11):5087-90.

Microbial products induce autoimmune disease by an IL-12-dependent pathway.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The development and exacerbation of autoimmune diseases are associated with antecedent infectious illness. Microbial products such as LPS, bacterial DNA, or oligonucleotides containing an unmethylated cytosine-guanine dinucleotide have cytokine modulating properties. These products converted quiescent myelin basic protein-specific T cells into effector cells capable of transferring experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. The disease-promoting properties of the microbial products were solely dependent on their capacity to induce the production of IL-12.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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