Primary biliary cirrhosis is characterized by autoreactive T cells specific for the mitochondrial Ag PDC-E2163-176. We studied the ability of eight T cell clones (TCC) specific for PDC-E2163-176 to proliferate or become anergic in the presence of costimulation signals. TCC were stimulated with either human PDC-E2163-176, an Escherichia coli 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase mimic (OGDC-E234-47), or analogs with amino acid substitutions using HLA-matched allogeneic PBMC or mouse L-DR53 fibroblasts as APC. Based on their differential responses to these peptides (human PDC-E2 163-176, E. coli OGDC-E234-47) in the different APC systems, TCC were classified as costimulation dependent or independent. Only costimulation-dependent TCC could become anergic. TCC with costimulation- dependent responses to OGDC-E2 become anergic to PDC-E2 when preincubated with mimic, even if costimulation is independent for PDC-E2163-176. Anergic TCC produced IL-10. One selected TCC could not become anergic after preincubation with PDC-E2163-176-pulsed L-DR53 but became anergic using L-DR53 pulsed with PDC-E2 peptide analogs with a substitution at a critical TCR binding site. TCC that only respond to peptide-pulsed PBMC, but not L-DR53, proliferate with peptide-pulsed CD80/CD86-transfected L-DR53; however, anergy was not induced with peptide-pulsed L-DR53 transfected with only CD80 or CD86. These data highlight that costimulation plays a dominant role in maintaining peripheral tolerance to PBC-specific Ags. They further suggest that, under specific circumstances, molecular mimicry of an autoantigen may restore rather than break peripheral tolerance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy