Peptide antigen treatment of naive and virus-immune mice: antigen-specific tolerance versus immunopathology

Immunity. 1997 May;6(5):519-29. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80340-4.


Peptide-specific down-regulation of T cell responses may represent a powerful tool to intervene in autoimmune diseases or graft rejections. It is therefore important to know whether peptide treatment tolerizes both naive and antigen-experienced memory T lymphocytes. Here we show that a major histocompatibility complex class I binding peptide, derived from the glycoprotein (GP33 peptide) of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), specifically tolerized naive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) when administered three times intraperitoneally in incomplete Freund's adjuvants. However, in the presence of GP33-specific memory CTL in LCMV-primed mice, the same treatment had a general immunosuppressive effect on unrelated third-party antigen-specific T cell responses and caused severe immunopathological damage to the spleen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral*
  • Cell Line
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Immune Tolerance* / drug effects
  • Immunologic Memory / drug effects
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / pathology*
  • Spleen / transplantation
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Viral Proteins*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Viral Proteins
  • glycoprotein peptide 33-41, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus