Author(s): Romagnoli P, Hudrisier D, van Meerwijk JP
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Abstract T cell tolerance to self Ags is in part established in the thymus by induction of apoptosis or anergy of potentially autoreactive thymocytes. Some autospecific T cells nevertheless migrate to peripheral lymphoid organs but are kept under control by the recently identified CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell subset. Because these cells inhibit autoimmunity more efficiently than useful non-self Ag-specific immune responses, they are probably autospecific, posing important questions as to how they develop in the thymus. In this study we show that significantly more peripheral CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells recognize self than non-self Ags. However, we also show for a large panel of endogenous superantigens as well as for self peptide/MHC complexes that autospecific CD4(+)CD25(+) thymocyte precursors are normally deleted during ontogeny. Combined, our data firmly establish that the repertoire of regulatory T cells is specifically enriched in autospecific cells despite the fact that their precursors are normally susceptible to thymic deletion.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy