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Immunity. 1998 Feb;8(2):265-74.

The Fas/Fas ligand pathway and Bcl-2 regulate T cell responses to model self and foreign antigens.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


We have examined the role of Fas and Bcl-2 in T cell survival and responses to antigen in vivo using T cells that express a transgenic antigen receptor specific for hen egg lysozyme (HEL) and that either lack functional Fas or Fas ligand (FasL) or overexpress Bcl-2 as a transgene. HEL-specific, Bcl-2-transgenic T cells showed prolonged responses to immunization with cognate peptide but were eliminated rapidly when exposed to HEL expressed systemically as a self antigen. In contrast, Fas- and FasL-defective T cells did not display exaggerated responses to immunization with HEL peptide, but did show increased expansion and survival in response to systemic self antigen and were able to activate anti-HEL (self) antibody-forming cells. Thus, Bcl-2 and Fas play different roles in the regulation of T cell responses to antigen in vivo and in self tolerance.

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