Molecular events in the induction of a nonresponsive state in interleukin 2-producing helper T-lymphocyte clones.

M. K. Jenkins, D. M. Pardoll, J. Mizuguchi, T. M. Chused, R. H. Schwartz

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Exposure of normal interleukin 2 (IL-2)-producing helper T-cell clones to antigen and 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide-treated antigen-presenting cells results in proliferative unresponsiveness to subsequent stimulation with antigen and normal antigen-presenting cells. In the present study, we have examined the molecular events that accompany the induction of this unresponsive state. T cells stimulated in this manner failed to produce IL-2, but interleukin 3, interferon-gamma, and IL-2 receptors were partially induced and T-cell receptor beta mRNA was fully induced. Although T-cell unresponsiveness correlated with an IL-2 production defect, addition of IL-2 during the induction phase failed to prevent development of the unresponsive state. The critical biochemical event appeared to be an increase in intracellular calcium. Removal of calcium from the medium prevented induction of the unresponsive state, whereas addition of the calcium ionophore ionomycin induced unresponsiveness as well as all of the related partial activation events. Thus, an increase in intracellular calcium under nonmitogenic conditions appears to initiate an alternative activation program that prevents the T cell from producing IL-2 in response to subsequent normal activation signals. The significance of this in vitro model for tolerance induction in vivo is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5409-5413
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1987


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