Using TCR Vβ5 transgenic mice as a model system, we demonstrate that the induction of peripheral tolerance can mold the TCR repertoire throughout adult life. In these mice, three distinct populations of peripheral T cells are affected by chronic selective events in the lymphoid periphery. First, CD4+Vβ5+ T cells are deleted in the lymphoid periphery by superantigens encoded by mouse mammary tumor viruses-8 and -9 in an MHC class II-dependent manner. Second, mature CD8+Vβ5+ T cells transit through a CD8(low)Vβ5(low) deletional intermediate during tolerance induction by a process that depends upon neither mouse mammary tumor virus-encoded superantigens nor MHC class II expression. Third, a population of CD4-CD8- Vβ5+ T cells arises in the lymphoid periphery in an age-dependent manner. We analyzed the TCR Vα repertoire of each of these cellular compartments in both Vβ5 transgenic and nontransgenic C57BL/6 mice as a function of age. This analysis revealed age-related changes in the expression of Vα families among different cellular compartments, highlighting the dynamic state of the peripheral immune repertoire. Our work indicates that the chronic processes maintaining peripheral T cell tolerance can dramatically shape the available TCR repertoire.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Mar 15 1999|
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