Maintenance of in Vivo Tolerance by Persistence of Antigen

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Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1130-1134
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1130


T cells of the immune system respond only to foreign antigens because those cells with reactivity for self proteins are either deleted during their development or rendered non-responsive (anergic). The maintenance of the nonresponsive state was found to require the continual exposure of the anergic T cells to antigen. When anergic T cells were removed from the self antigen by adoptive transfer to a mouse strain lacking the antigen or by in vitro culture, nonresponsiveness was reversed and the anergic cells returned to normal functional status.

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