Activated T cell death in vivo mediated by proapoptotic bcl-2 family member bim

Immunity. 2002 Jun;16(6):759-67. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(02)00322-9.


At the end of the T cell response, the majority of the activated T cells die. We activated Vbeta8(+) T cells with staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) in vivo and monitored the expansion and deletion of Vbeta8(+) T cells. We found that, in response to SEB, activated T cells died in vivo in the absence of Fas or TNF-R signaling but not when they overexpressed human Bcl-2. We also found that Vbeta8(+) T cells from Bim-deficient mice are resistant to SEB-induced deletion. While Bim levels did not change, endogenous Bcl-2 levels within Vbeta8(+) T cells decrease following SEB injection. Thus, the death of superantigen-stimulated T cells in vivo is mediated by Bim and may be modulated by a decrease in Bcl-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Apoptosis*
  • Bcl-2-Like Protein 11
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Down-Regulation
  • Enterotoxins / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / physiology
  • Superantigens / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • fas Receptor / pharmacology


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BCL2L11 protein, human
  • Bcl-2-Like Protein 11
  • Bcl2l11 protein, mouse
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Enterotoxins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Superantigens
  • fas Receptor
  • enterotoxin B, staphylococcal