Two adjacent epitopes on a synthetic dodecapeptide induce lactate dehydrogenase B-specific helper and suppressor T cells

C. Servis, R. Seckler, Z. A. Nagy, J. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The outcome of an immune response to the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase B (LDH-B) is determined by the interplay between two types of regulatory T lymphocytes, T helper (Th) and T suppressor (Ts) cells. Most mouse strains are capable of generating Th but not Ts cells, and are therefore high responders to LDH-B in terms of both antibody production and antigen-specific T-cell proliferation. However, in strains expressing the b or k allele at the E(β) locus of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc), Ts cells are induced that partly or totally abrogate the proliferative response of Th cells to LDH-B. As a result, these strains are phenotypically medium (E(β)b expressors) or low (E(β)(k) expressors) responders. Because the suppression in the LDH-B system is antigen-specific (i.e. it only affects LDH-B-specific Th cells), it is conceivable that the Th and Ts cells use the antigen itself to communicate with each other. To investigate this possibility, we set out to determine which epitopes of the LDH-B molecule are recognized by Th and Ts cells. On the basis of previous studies, a loop structure extending from residue 211 to residue 224 of pig LDH-B appeared to be preferentially recognized by most Th-type (class II Mhc-restricted, proliferating) clones. By using a synthetic peptide, we demonstrate here that both Th and Ts cells are induced by the 211-222 stretch of LDH-B sequence. The use of two further dodecapeptides, each with a single amino-acid substitution in comparison with the pig 211-222 sequence, has revealed that Th and Ts cells have different fine specificities. Thus the loop appears to have two closely linked, if not overlapping, epitopes, one recognized by Th and the other by Ts cells. This finding is consistent with two possible mechanisms of suppression, namely (i) bridging of Th and Ts cells by antigen and subsequent transmission of a suppressive signal, and (ii) competition for antigen between Th and Ts cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-470
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London - Biological Sciences
Issue number1253
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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