Int Immunol. 2003 Sep;15(9):1073-1080
Zang YC, Hong J, Rivera VM, Killian J, Zhang JZ.
Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center and Department of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, China.
T cells recognizing myelin basic protein (MBP) are potentially involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
In vivo clonal expansion of MBP-reactive T cells in MS may relate in part to dysfunction of peripheral regulatory mechanisms, including the anti-idiotypic immune network.
In this study, we examined anti-idiotypic immune responses and the functional properties of anti-idiotypic T cells in patients with MS and healthy controls using TCR peptides corresponding to a CDR3 sequence motif preferentially expressed among T cells recognizing the 83-99 immunodominant peptide of MBP in some patients with MS.
The study demonstrated that anti-idiotypic T cells could be induced in vitro by 8mer and 15mer peptides containing the CDR3 motif in MS patients and healthy controls respectively.
The estimated precursor frequency of the anti-idiotypic T cells was slightly reduced in MS patients compared to control subjects.
The obtained anti-idiotypic T cells recognizing the 15mer TCR peptide were found to express the CD4 phenotype, produce predominantly IL-10 and inhibit the proliferation of autologous T cells recognizing the immunodominant peptide of MBP.
Anti-idiotypic T cells induced by the 8mer TCR peptide were predominantly CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells and exhibited cytotoxic activity against autologous MBP-specific T cells expressing the CDR3 sequence.
When added in primary culture, both TCR peptides had a significant inhibitory effect on the T cell responses to the immunodominant peptide of MBP.
The findings suggest that anti-idiotypic immune responses can be activated by selected TCR peptides and may play an important role in the in vivo regulation of MBP-reactive T cells.