Immunoregulation of encephalitogenic MBP-NAc1-11-reactive T cells by CD4+ TCR-specific T cells involves IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-gamma.Autoimmunity. 1999; 31(4):237-48.A
The generation of TCR transgenic (Tg) mice expressing a BV8S2 (Vbeta8 subfamily 2) chain specific for the encephalitogenic NAc1-11 region of MBP provides a unique system for evaluating the mechanisms involved in anti-TCR immunoregulation of EAE. In a previous study, we showed that vaccination with BV8S2 protein induced specific T cells that inhibited proliferation responses and encephalitogenic activity of MBP-reactive T cells in vitro, and resulted in a skewed production of Th2 cytokines by the MBP-reactive T cells. These data suggested that regulation of the encephalitogenic T cells was mediated by inhibitory cytokines rather than through a deletional mechanism. In the current study, we have employed the BV8S2 Tg mouse model to address the issue of which cytokines produced by anti-TCR-reactive T cells can regulate the function of encephalitogenic Th1 cells. Utilizing neutralizing anti-cytokine antibodies to reverse inhibitory effects of supernatants from BV8S2-specific T cells, we found that IL-4, IL-10, and to a lesser extent, IFN-gamma and TGF-beta, were the major regulatory cytokines responsible for inhibiting encephalitogenic activity, proliferation, and IFN-gamma secretion of MBP-NAc1-11-reactive Th1 cells. These results indicate that cytokine regulation is the major mechanism through which TCR specific CD4+ T cells regulate encephalitogenic and potentially other bystander Th1 cells.