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Lysis of interferon-gamma activated Schwann cell by cross-reactive CD8+ alpha/beta T cells with specificity for the mycobacterial 65 kd heat shock protein.

Abstract

Heat shock protein (hsp) 65 is a major T cell antigen of Mycobacterium leprae. The hsp 65 of M. leprae is nearly identical in M. bovis/M. tuberculosis (greater than 95% protein sequence homology) and surprisingly similar in man (65% protein sequence homology). Recently, we had provided evidence in a murine model that CD8+ T cells recognize and lyse Schwann cells presenting M. leprae antigen in the context of major histocompatibility (MHC) class I gene products. Because murine Schwann cells are class I negative, antigen presentation requires prior stimulation with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). CD8+ T cells were activated against tryptic fragments of mycobacterial hsp 65. These T cells recognized epitopes of hsp 65 which had been generated through the cytoplasmic class I processing pathway. They were also capable of lysing Schwann cells which had been activated by IFN-gamma and not primed with nominal hsp 65 peptides. In contrast, T cells activated against tryptic ova peptides only lysed Schwann cells which had been both stimulated with IFN-gamma and primed with ova peptides. Evidence is presented that class I (H-2D) restricted, CD8+ alpha/beta T lymphocytes with specificity for the mycobacterial hsp 65 recognize IFN-gamma-stimulated Schwann cells probably because they are specific for a(n) epitope(s) shared by the bacterial hsp and a host cognate. Activation of autoreactive T cells with specificity to shared epitopes could contribute to nerve damage in tuberculoid leprosy which is characterized by low to absent M. leprae in Schwann cells.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Steinhoff U
Schoel B
Kaufmann S H
Year of Publication
1990
Journal
International immunology
Volume
2
Issue
3
Number of Pages
279-84
Date Published
1990
Language
eng
ISSN Number
0953-8178
DOI
10.1093/intimm/2.3.279
Alternate Journal
Int. Immunol.
Publication Language
eng

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