Background & aims: Increase of T cells expressing CD4 and T-cell receptor (TCR) alpha- beta+ (beta[dim]) was observed in the mucosal and peripheral lymphoid tissues of TCR alpha-/- mice with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to characterize the CD4+ TCR alpha-beta+ T cells.
Methods: Cytokine production, TCR V beta usage, and helper function for Peyer's patch B cells by the CD4+ TCR alpha-beta+ T cells were assessed.
Results: The CD4+ TCR alpha-beta+ T cells purified from mesenteric lymph nodes and lamina propria of the intestine of IBD mice exclusively produced interleukin 4, used selected subsets (V beta6, V beta8, V beta14, and V beta15) of TCR, and massively proliferated after stimulation with staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Addition of the CD4+ TCR alpha-beta+ T cells to Peyer's patch B-cell cultures markedly enhanced immunoglobulin (Ig) A, IgG, and IgM antibody responses. Furthermore, depletion of the TCR alpha-beta+ T cells with monoclonal antibody against TCR beta chain completely suppressed the onset of IBD and polyclonal B-cell activation in the TCR alpha-/- mice.
Conclusions: These findings suggest the CD4+ TCR alpha-beta+ T cells-mediated development of IBD in TCR alpha-/- mice.