Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Peripheral tolerance to developmentally regulated antigens is necessary to sustain tissue homeostasis. We have now devised an inducible and reversible system that allows interrogation of T-cell tolerance induction in endogenous naïve and memory CD8 T cells. Our data show that peripheral CD8 T-cell tolerance can be preserved through two distinct mechanisms, antigen addiction leading to anergy for naïve T cells and ignorance for memory T cells. Induction of antigen in dendritic cells resulted in substantial expansion and maintenance of endogenous antigen-specific CD8 T cells. The self-reactive cells initially exhibited effector activity but eventually became unresponsive. Upon antigen removal, the antigen-specific population waned, resulting in development of a self-specific memory subset that recalled to subsequent challenge. In striking contrast to naïve CD8 T cells, preexisting antigen-specific memory CD8 T cells failed to expand after antigen induction and essentially ignored the antigen despite widespread expression by dendritic cells. The inclusion of inflammatory signals partially overcame memory CD8 T-cell ignorance of self-antigen. Thus, peripheral CD8 T-cell tolerance for naïve CD8 T cells depended on the continuous presence of antigen, whereas memory CD8 T cells were prohibited from autoreactivity in the absence of inflammation.
Jellison, Evan R.; Lingenheld, Elizabeth G.; Zu, Li; Puddington, Lynn; and Lefrancois, Leo, "Distinct Mechanisms Mediate Naïve and memory CD8 T-cell tolerance" (2012). UCHC Articles - Research. 188.