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J Immunol. 1998 Aug 15;161(4):1705-9.

Termination of peripheral tolerance to a T cell epitope by heteroclitic antigen analogues.

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1
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Abstract

Treating mice with an immunodominant T cell epitope from moth cytochrome c (MCC(88-103)) can induce T cell unresponsiveness under certain conditions of administration. In this report, we determined whether T cell tolerance to MCC(88-103) in adult animals can be overcome by immunization with cross-reactive analogues of the tolerizing Ag. A panel of analogues of the tolerogen were tested for their capacity to terminate the tolerant state following in vivo immunization. As analyzed by their stimulatory capacity for a representative MCC(88-103)-specific T cell clone, this panel covered a wide range of cross-reactivity, including nonantigenic, antagonistic, weakly, and strongly antigenic peptides. Interestingly, only heteroclitic analogues, as measured in vitro by their enhanced antigenicity for the T cell clone that was specific for MCC(88-103), were capable of breaking tolerance. Thus, an immune response to the cross-reactive, heteroclitic analogues of tolerized self Ags may represent a mechanism by which Ag molecular mimicry operates.

PMID:
9712034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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