Antagonism of superantigen-stimulated helper T-cell clones and hybridomas by altered peptide ligand

Brian D. Evavold, Joanne Sloan-Lancaster, Paul M. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


T-cell activation by an immunogenic peptide can be antagonized by nonstimulatory analogs of that peptide. We investigated this T-cell receptor antagonism by using staphylococcal enterotoxin superantigen to stimulate hemoglobin-specific helper T (T(h)) cells because its activation pathway may differ from that of conventional antigen. Interestingly, superantigen activation of these T(h) cells was antagonized by hemoglobin peptide analogs even though agonist (superantigen) and antagonist (analog peptide) bind at different sites on the major histocompatibility complex-encoded molecule and the T-cell receptor. The antagonism appeared to be a fundamental block in T- cell activation, as phosphoinositol generation, cytokine production, and proliferation were reduced in T(h1) clones, and, similarly, proliferative and cytokine responses were inhibited in T(h2) cells. Even T-cell hybridoma activation (cytokine production and apoptosis) was inhibited by peptide antagonists. Furthermore, analog peptides that functioned as partial agonists for these T(h) cells also antagonized superantigen-induced proliferation and thus were a subset of the peptide antagonists. In summary, our results demonstrate that analogs of immunogenic peptide are potent antagonists for T(h) cell responses induced by superantigen as well as immunogenic peptide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2300-2304
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1994


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