Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 1998 Nov 16;188(10):1883-94.

Regulatory CD4(+) T cells expressing endogenous T cell receptor chains protect myelin basic protein-specific transgenic mice from spontaneous autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Author information

Division of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and the Department of Pathology, New York, New York 10016, USA.


The development of T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases hinges on the balance between effector and regulatory mechanisms. Using two transgenic mouse lines expressing identical myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T cell receptor (TCR) genes, we have previously shown that mice bearing exclusively MBP-specific T cells (designated T/R-) spontaneously develop experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), whereas mice bearing MBP-specific T cells as well as other lymphocytes (designated T/R+) did not. Here we demonstrate that T/R- mice can be protected from EAE by the early transfer of total splenocytes or purified CD4(+) T cells from normal donors. Moreover, whereas T/R+ mice crossed with B cell-deficient, gamma/delta T cell-deficient, or major histocompatibility complex class I-deficient mice did not develop EAE spontaneously, T/R+ mice crossed with TCR-alpha and -beta knockout mice developed EAE with the same incidence and severity as T/R- mice. In addition, MBP-specific transgenic mice that lack only endogenous TCR-alpha chains developed EAE with high incidence but reduced severity. Surprisingly, two-thirds of MBP-specific transgenic mice lacking only endogenous TCR-beta chains also developed EAE, suggesting that in T/R+ mice, cells with high protective activity escape TCR-beta chain allelic exclusion. Our study identifies CD4(+) T cells bearing endogenous alpha and beta TCR chains as the lymphocytes that prevent spontaneous EAE in T/R+ mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center