T cell tolerance to parenchymal self-antigens is thought to be induced by encounter of the T cell with its cognate peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ligand expressed on the parenchymal cell, which lacks appropriate costimulatory function. We have used a model system in which naive T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic hemagglutinin (HA)-specific CD4+ T cells are adoptively transferred into mice expressing HA as a self-antigen on parenchymal cells. After transfer, HA-specific T cells develop a phenotype indicative of TCR engagement and are rendered functionally tolerant. However, T cell tolerance is not induced by peptide-MHC complexes expressed on parenchymal cells. Rather, tolerance induction requires that HA is presented by bone marrow (BM)-derived cells. These results indicate that tolerance induction to parenchymal self-antigens requires transfer to a BM-derived antigen-presenting cell that presents it to T cells in a tolerogenic fashion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy