Tolerance of T-cell clones is associated with membrane antigen changes.
Zanders ED., Lamb JR., Feldmann M., Green N., Beverley PC.
It is possible to regulate the activity of human influenza virus specific helper T-cell clones either by high concentrations of antigen or by anti-idiotypic suppressor T cells. In the absence of accessory cells, the appropriate peptide antigen recognized by the clones induces specific unresponsiveness. This phenomenon, however, is not the result of cytolysis as responsiveness to IL-2 remained unaltered. This suggests that high-dose immunological tolerance need not involve suppressor T cells, and that peptide antigens can interact directly with the T-cell surface. As recent reports suggest that the T-cell surface antigen T3 is involved in the triggering of T lymphocytes and possibly in antigen recognition we have investigated the expression of T3 and other cell surface antigens following the induction of T-cell tolerance. We report here that when a T-cell clone is exposed to a tolerizing concentration of the appropriate peptide antigen, surface T3 antigen is lost in a dose-dependent manner. As loss of surface T3 induced by anti-T3 antibody also results in unresponsiveness to antigen, we conclude that T3 is involved in the process of T-cell triggering by antigen.