Characterization of the immune response to a secondary encephalitogenic epitope of basic protein in Lewis rats. II. Biased T cell receptor V beta expression predominates in spinal cord infiltrating T cells.J Immunol. 1992 Mar 15; 148(6):1712-7.JI
The immune response of Lewis rat lymph node T cells to guinea pig myelin basic protein (GP-BP) in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis is directed primarily against a region of basic protein encompassed by residues 72-89. T cells that respond to this epitope are restricted by the RT1.B class II molecule of the MHC and use V beta 8.2 exclusively in their TCR. A second region of GP-BP, residues 87-99, also induces experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats but this response is restricted primarily by RT1.D. Elsewhere we describe the biologic characteristics of T cell clones responding to the synthetic peptide, s87-99, and to a related peptide, s85-99. We present a detailed analysis of TCR V beta gene expression among these clones, derived from the lymph node and spinal cord of immunized animals, and among spinal cord derived T cell clones reactive to GP-BP 72-89. We find that spinal cord-derived clones, reactive to s85-99 and to s87-99, use V beta 6 predominantly. In contrast, T cell clones derived from lymph nodes and reactive to the same peptides express multiple V beta genes including V beta 6. This difference in heterogeneity of V beta usage at the clonal level is also seen in T cell lines derived from spinal cord and immune lymph node. DNA sequence comparison of the CDR3 regions in V beta 6+ spinal cord clones revealed a conserved amino acid motif also found in the majority of V beta 6 sequences from the spinal cord anti-s85-99 line. Although V beta 6 was expressed in some lymph node-derived clones, only one contained a CDR3 region similar to that seen in spinal cord isolates. All spinal cord-derived T cell clones reactive to GP-BP 72-89 used V beta 8.2 and most (five of six) contained the AspSer residues in CDR3 previously shown to be associated with V beta 8.2 receptors expressed by the majority of lymph node T cells responding to GP-BP 72-89. These data indicate that TCR V beta usage in peripheral T cells responding to an autoantigen does not always predict the V beta usage among T cells at the site of an autoimmune attack. Possible explantations for the relative homogeneity in TCR V beta expression seen in T cell clones derived from the spinal cord are discussed.