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J Immunol. 1997 Aug 15;159(4):1669-75.

Weak peptide agonists reveal functional differences in B7-1 and B7-2 costimulation of human T cell clones.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The influence of costimulation on the T cell response to altered peptide ligands that act as either partial or weak agonists for human CD4+ T cell clones was examined. Using stable Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell transfectants expressing DR2 (DRB1*1501) and human B7-1 or B7-2 as APC, presentation of native myelin basic protein (MBP) p85-99 peptide Ag or a partial agonist of MBP p85-99 induced equivalent T cell activation as measured by [3H]TdR incorporation and cytokine secretion. In marked contrast, presentation of cross-reactive peptides of MBP p85-99 that act as weak agonists with B7-1, but not B7-2, costimulation resulted in significant T cell activation as measured by [3H]TdR incorporation and cytokine secretion. These data suggest that decreasing the strength of the signal provided to the TCR allows differences in B7-1 and B7-2 signaling to be observed. Thus, the costimulatory environment during T cell activation may be a mechanism of regulating T cell cross-reactivity in the periphery.

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