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Regulation of superantigen-induced T cell activation in the absence and the presence of MHC class II

Regulation of superantigen-induced T cell activation in the absence and the presence of MHC class II

Journal of Immunology 157(7): 2857-2863

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767

PMID: 8816390

To study MHC class II-dependent and -independent SAg2 activation and the relative importance of CD80/CD28 costimulation, staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) was presented to T cells as a fusion protein containing the Fab fragment of an mAb directed against the CA215 glycoprotein. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with HLA-DR4, CA215, and CD80, individually or in combinations, were used as presenting cells. A strong T cell proliferation was obtained when C215Fab-SEA fusion proteins were presented by CHO-DR/CD80 or CHO-CA215/CD80 double transfectants, whereas only low levels of proliferation were seen in the absence of CD80. Large amounts of IL-2, IFN-gamma, and TNF were produced in addition to an increase in IL-2 mRNA as a result of CD80 costimulation. Only approximately 50% of the SEA-reactive T cells responded by expression of IL-2 receptor chains and by blast formation when activated with SEA in the absence of MHC class II. Reverse transcription-PCR-assisted repertoire analysis of SEA-reactive TCR V beta families showed that the CA215-dependent activation involved an expansion of fewer TCR V beta families compared with MHC class II-dependent activation. One-half of the six analyzed TCR V beta families were expanded independently of class II. This indicates that MHC class II has only a partial influence on the TCR V beta repertoire imprinted by SAg. This finding redefines the role of MHC class II in SAg presentation. It is suggested that MHC class II molecules are selected as SAg-binding molecules mainly as a suitable targeting receptor for professional APC expressing costimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86.

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Accession: 018090806

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