© 2003 SAGE Publications
T Cell Autoreactivity by Design: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding Tolerance, Autoimmunity, and Transplant Rejection
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Self-reactive T lymphocytes are largely but not entirely eliminated from the hosts T cell repertoire during development through central thymic deletion. Standard immunologic paradigms suggest that the residual autoreactive T cells represent a threat to the host as they have the potential to initiate autoimmune disease. An alternative viewpoint is that the autoreactive T cells are released into the periphery by design and that they participate in the maintenance of self-tolerance through regulatory mechanisms. This theoretical framework is consistent with many of the experimental observations made in tolerant allograft recipients and provides a foundation through which one can make sense of the recently described interrelationship between autoreactive T cells and alloreactive T cells in transplantation immunobiology.
Key Words: allograft rejection autoimmunity T lymphocytes tolerance regulatory cells