Heterogeneity of rat encephalitogenic T cells elicited by variants of the myelin basic protein (68-86) peptide

Eur J Immunol. 1995 Jun;25(6):1687-92. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830250631.


By immunizing Lewis rats with myelin basic protein (MBP) peptide variants derived from the major encephalitogenic epitope of guinea pig (MBP(68-88) and then isolating encephalitogenic T cells from these animals, we demonstrated that the variant peptides do not elicit the same encephalitogenic T cell subsets as those induced by the wild-type peptide or by intact MBP. Rather, the pathogenic T cells differed in clonal composition as reflected by their heterogeneous responses to a panel of variant peptides and by their T cell receptor usage. Thus, molecules mimicking the MBP(68-88) autoantigen can elicit pathogenic T cell subsets without necessarily cross-reacting with T cells specific for the original autoantigen. This suggests that a more clonally diverse group of pathogenic T cells might be involved in EAE than has been apparent from studies with intact MBP or its unaltered peptides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myelin Basic Protein / chemistry
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology*
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell