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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Dec;27(12):3198-205.

Antigen presentation by T cells: T cell receptor ligation promotes antigen acquisition from professional antigen-presenting cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC 27858-4354, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the clonotypic specificity of the T cell receptor influences the specificity of T cell-mediated antigen presentation. We have previously shown that myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific Lewis rat GP2.E5/R1 (R1) T cells cultured with antigen, irradiated syngeneic splenocytes (IrrSPL) and tolerogenic monoclonal antibody become highly effective antigen-presenting cells (APC). In the current studies, we investigated the transfer of specific (MBP) and unrelated (conalbumin) antigens from antigen-pulsed SPL to R1 T cells. R1 T cells cultured with IrrSPL that were pulsed simultaneously with both MBP and conalbumin acquired and presented both antigens to the appropriate T cell responders in a secondary assay. These results suggested a physical transfer of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)/peptide complexes from professional APC to R1 T cells. Transfer of conalbumin from professional APC to R1 T cells required specific recognition of MBP and was optimal when both conalbumin and MBP were presented on the same group of professional APC. Antigens transfer did not occur when allogeneic SPL were used as APC. The anti-I-A mAb OX6 inhibited antigen transfer but only when added during the initiation of culture. OX6 also inhibited antigen acquisition by R1-trans, a variant of the R1 T cell line which constitutively synthesizes high levels of I-A, from MBP-pulsed IrrSPL but blockade of I-A did not inhibit antigen acquisition when soluble MBP was added directly to the culture. Despite constitutive synthesis of I-A, R1-trans T cells did not acquire guinea pig MBP from pulsed allogeneic APC. These studies demonstrate that although T cells of a particular specificity can present unrelated antigens, the cognate interaction of the T cell antigen receptor with the appropriate antigen/self-MHC complex strongly promotes acquisition of these complexes from professional APC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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