Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Recently, it has become clear that dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for the priming of T cell responses. However, their role in the maintenance of peripheral T cell tolerance remains largely undefined. Herein, an antigen-presenting cell (APC) transfer system was devised and applied to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), to evaluate the contribution that DCs play in peripheral T cell tolerance. The CD8alpha(-)CD4(+) subset, a minor population among splenic DCs, was found to mediate both tolerance and bystander suppression against diverse T cell specificities. Aggregated (agg) Ig-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), an Ig chimera carrying the MOG 35-55 peptide, binds and cross-links FcgammaR on APC leading to efficient peptide presentation and interleukin (IL)-10 production. Furthermore, administration of agg Ig-MOG into diseased mice induces relief from clinical EAE involving multiple epitopes. Such recovery could not occur in FcgammaR-deficient mice where both uptake of Ig-MOG and IL-10 production are compromised. However, reconstitution of these mice with DC populations incorporating the CD8alpha(-)CD4(+) subset restored Ig-MOG-mediated reversal of EAE. Transfer of CD8alpha(+) or even CD8alpha(-)CD4(-) DCs had no effect on the disease. These findings strongly implicate DCs in peripheral tolerance and emphasize their functional potency, as a small population of DCs was able to support effective suppression of autoimmunity.