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J Exp Med. 1997 Dec 15;186(12):2057-62.

CD4+ T cell help impairs CD8+ T cell deletion induced by cross-presentation of self-antigens and favors autoimmunity.

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Immunology Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Victoria 3050, Australia.


Self-antigens expressed in extrathymic tissues such as the pancreas can be transported to draining lymph nodes and presented in a class I-restricted manner by bone marrow-derived antigen-presenting cells. Such cross-presentation of self-antigens leads to CD8+ T cell tolerance induction via deletion. In this report, we investigate the influence of CD4+ T cell help on this process. Small numbers of autoreactive OVA-specific CD8+ T cells were unable to cause diabetes when adoptively transferred into mice expressing ovalbumin in the pancreatic beta cells. Coinjection of OVA-specific CD4+ helper T cells, however, led to diabetes in a large proportion of mice (68%), suggesting that provision of help favored induction of autoimmunity. Analysis of the fate of CD8+ T cells indicated that CD4(+) T cell help impaired their deletion. These data indicate that control of such help is critical for the maintenance of CD8+ T cell tolerance induced by cross-presentation.

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