Fine-specificity differences in the recognition of an encephalitogenic peptide by T helper 1 and 2 cells

Journal of Neuroimmunology
R C van der VeenJ L Trotter


The lymphokine production of two T-cell clones, which both recognize epitopes within the encephalitogenic 139-151 sequence of myelin proteolipid protein, was examined after stimulation with immobilized antibodies to the CD3 moiety of the T-cell-receptor complex. Clone A1 produced interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma, but no IL-4, while clone D5 produced IL-4, but no IL-2 or IFN-gamma. A1 therefore belongs to the T-helper type 1 (Th1) subset, while D5 is a Th2 clone. In addition, the Th1 clone induced severe experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), while the Th2 clone did not induce any signs of EAE. Synthetic peptides were used to demonstrate that these clones recognized slightly different epitopes within the 139-151 sequence. Histidine 139 was shown to be optimal for the stimulation of the Th2 clone, while the presence of this residue inhibited the stimulation of the Th1 clone. Th2 cells specific for an encephalitogenic peptide may be important in the regulation of encephalitogenic Th1 cells.


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