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J Immunol. 1998 Jan 1;160(1):33-8.

Differences between responses of naive and activated T cells to anergy induction.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


T cell unresponsiveness to Ag stimulation can be induced by several means. The precise mechanism by which this process occurs remains poorly understood. Preincubating T cells with either EDCI-fixed APC or ionomycin is a proven means of inducing T cell anergy with reduced IL-2 production in response to Ag stimulation. Using T cells from mice expressing the TCR transgene DO11.10, which is specific for a peptide (323-339) derived from hen egg OVA, we demonstrate that naive cells obtained directly from the host are resistant to the anergy induction by either fixed APC or ionomycin. TCR transgenic mice also deficient in the recombination-activating gene-2 (RAG-2(-/-)), preventing the formation of T cells with endogenous TCRs, were immunized with OVA, and in vivo activated T cells with low expression of CD62 were isolated. These primed cells possess the same sensitivity to ionomycin-induced anergy as in vitro activated cell lines. This unresponsive state most profoundly affects Ag-induced IL-2 production, with IFN-gamma and IL-3 affected to a lesser degree and no effect observed on IL-4 production. Thus, T cells in vivo can be distinguished phenotypically by their susceptibility to anergic stimuli. Anergy so induced affects selected T cell functions.

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