Ag presentation in the absence of danger signals and Ag persistence are the inductive processes of peripheral T cell tolerization proposed so far. Nevertheless, it has never been definitively shown that chronic Ag presentation per se can induce T cell tolerance independent of the state of activation of APCs. In the present work, we investigated whether chronic Ag presentation by either resting or activated B cells can induce tolerance of peripheral Ag-specific T cells. We show that CD4+ T cells that re-encounter the Ag for a prolonged period, presented either by resting or activated Ag-presenting B cells, become nonfunctional and lose any autoimmune reactivity. Thus, when the main APCs are B cells, the major mechanism responsible for peripheral T cell tolerization is persistent Ag exposure, independent of the B cell activation state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy