Regulatory T cell clones induced by oral tolerance: suppression of autoimmune encephalomyelitis

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Science  26 Aug 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5176, pp. 1237-1240
DOI: 10.1126/science.7520605


Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a cell-mediated autoimmune disease that serves as an animal model for multiple sclerosis. Oral administration of myelin basic protein (MBP) suppresses EAE by inducing peripheral tolerance. T cell clones were isolated from the mesenteric lymph nodes of SJL mice that had been orally tolerized to MBP. These clones were CD4+ and were structurally identical to T helper cell type 1 (TH1) encephalitogenic CD4+ clones in T cell receptor usage, major histocompatibility complex restriction, and epitope recognition. However, they produced transforming growth factor-beta with various amounts of interleukin-4 and interleukin-10 and suppressed EAE induced with either MBP or proteolipid protein. Thus, mucosally derived TH2-like clones induced by oral antigen can actively regulate immune responses in vivo and may represent a different subset of T cells.

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