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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Jul;27(7):1648-56.

On the mechanisms by which transforming growth factor-beta 2 alters antigen-presenting abilities of macrophages on T cell activation.

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Schepens Eye Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) incubated with antigen in the presence of transforming growth factor-(TGF)-beta 2 selectively suppress delayed hypersensitivity and IgG2a antibody production when injected intravenously into naive syngeneic recipients. In this study, we have examined in vitro the effects of TGF-beta 2 on the antigen presenting abilities of PEC to activate DO11.10 T cells that express a transgenic T cell receptor that recognizes ovalbumin peptide fragment 323-339 in the context of I-Ad. PEC were pretreated overnight with TGF-beta 2, washed extensively, then co-cultured with DO11.10 T cells in the presence of native OVA or P323-339. We found that TGF-beta 2-treated PEC induced the production of the T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine, interleukin-4 (IL-4), but unlike untreated PEC, were unable to stimulate the Th1 cytokines, IL-2 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). Furthermore, TGF-beta 2 was produced in an autocrine fashion by TGF-beta 2-treated PEC and was responsible for this shift to a Th2 response. This conclusion was supported by the following results. First, TGF-beta 2-treated PEC were found to express much more TGF-beta 1 and TGF-beta 2 mRNA than untreated PEC. Second, TGF-beta 2-treated PEC secreted large amounts of TGF-beta including its mature form. Third, addition of neutralizing anti-TGF-beta 2 antibodies, but not neutralizing anti-TGF-beta 1 antibodies, restored the ability of antigen-pulsed, TGF-beta 2-pretreated PEC to stimulate DO11.10 T cells to secrete IL-2 and IFN-gamma. These results indicate that antigen-presenting cells that encounter antigen in a TGF-beta-enriched environment (e.g., in the eye) shift responding native T cells toward Th2 responses by producing TGF-beta during antigen presentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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