Induction of self-tolerance in T cells but not B cells of transgenic mice expressing little self antigen

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Science  08 Mar 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4998, pp. 1223-1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.1900950


Self-tolerance to a transgene-encoded protein, hen egg lysozyme, was examined in the T and B cell repertoires of a series of lines of transgenic mice that expressed different serum concentrations of soluble lysozyme. T cells were tolerant in all lines in which lysozyme was expressed irrespective of the antigen concentration, whereas B cell tolerance did not occur when the serum lysozyme concentration was less than 1.5 nanograms per milliliter (0.1 nM). Induction of elevated transgene expression could restore B cell tolerance. These findings support the hypothesis that autoimmune disease may in some instances arise through a bypass of T cell tolerance.

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