Tgf-beta inhibits activation and uveitogenicity of primary but not of fully polarized retinal antigen-specific memory-effector T cells.
PURPOSE: TGF-beta exerts suppressive effects on immunity, but its potential applications in therapy of ocular autoimmunity have not been widely explored. In the present study, the effects of TGF-beta on uveitogenic T cells were examined. METHODS: The effects of TGF-beta on newly primed cells from mice given a uveitogenic regimen of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) were compared with the effects on fully polarized Th1 cells from a long-term uveitogenic T-cell line. The parameters measured were T-cell proliferation, IFN-gamma production, induction of IL-12R expression, triggering of pathogenicity, and expression of costimulatory molecules on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) during in vitro exposure to antigen. RESULTS: TGF-beta suppressed B7.1 expression on APCs in cultures of lymph node cells from immunized mice. It also suppressed T-cell proliferation, IFN-gamma production, IL-12 receptor accumulation, and the IL-12-promoted acquisition of uveitogenic function. In contrast, the polarized Th1 cells were either resistant to suppression or were enhanced by TGF-beta. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that TGF-beta suppresses acquisition of effector functions by autopathogenic T cells, in part by interfering with their response to IL-12 through downregulation of IL-12R expression and in part through inhibition of APC function. The data suggest that although TGF-beta may effectively inhibit activation and recruitment of new T cells into the effector pool, it may be less effective in suppressing the reactivation of already polarized memory T cells that are less dependent on IL-12 and costimulation.
Xu, H; Silver, PB; Tarrant, TK; Chan, C-C; Caspi, RR
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