MHC Variant Peptide-Mediated Anergy of Encephalitogenic T Cells Requires SHP-1

Author: Wasserman H. A.

Date: 11/15/2008

Journal: J. Immunol.


DOI: 10.4049/​jimmunol.181.10.6843


Our lab has demonstrated that encephalitogenic T cells can be effectively anergized by treatment with MHC variant peptides, which are analogues of immunogenic peptides containing an amino acid substitution at an MHC anchor residue. The MHC variant peptide of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)(35-55) proves an effective treatment as it does not induce symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and fails to recruit macrophages or MOG(35-55)-specific T cells to the CNS. In this study, we sought to characterize the signaling pathways required for the induction of anergy by building upon the observations identifying the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 as a critical regulator of T cell responsiveness. Motheaten viable heterozygous mice, which contain a mutation in the SHP-1 gene resulting in a reduction in functional SHP-1, were challenged with MOG(35-55) or the MOG(35-55) MHC variant 45D. These mice display symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis upon immunization with MHC variant peptide and have significant CNS infiltration of tetramer-positive CD4(+) cells and macrophages, unlike B6 mice challenged with the variant peptide. The effects of SHP-1 are directly on the T cell as Motheaten viable heterozygous mice autoreactive T cells are not anergized in vitro. Lastly, we demonstrate no distinguishable difference in the initial interaction between the TCR and agonist or MHC variant. Rather, an unstable interaction between peptide and MHC attenuates the T cell response, seen in a decreased half-life relative to MOG(35-55). These results identify SHP-1 as a mediator of T cell anergy induced by destabilized peptide:MHC complexes.