Mature T cells of autoimmune lpr/lpr mice have a defect in antigen-stimulated suicide

John H. Russell, Brian Rush, Casey Weaver, Ruduan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

411 Scopus citations


Antigen receptor-stimulated cell death of developing, immature T cells plays an important role in shaping the repertoire of antigens to which mature T cells will respond, but a role for receptor-stimulated death in controlling responses of mature T cells is controversial. Mutant lpr/lpr mice exhibit an autoimmune syndrome similar to systemic lupus erythematosus. Here we demonstrate that these mice have a defect in antigen-stimulated suicide of activated T cells in mature CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartments. The defective suicide pathway is evident when the T cells are stimulated with antigen on antigen-presenting cells or with immobilized anti-CD3 in the absence of antigen-presenting cells. These studies, in concert with the work of others, suggest that antigen-stimulated death of mature cells may be important both in establishing peripheral tolerance and in limiting inflammation during normal immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4409-4413
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1993


  • Apoptosis
  • Autoimmunity
  • Programmed cell death
  • Tolerance

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