A CD4(+) T cell response to the gastric H/K ATPase beta-subunit (H/Kbeta) is required for the onset of experimental autoimmune gastritis in BALB/c mice. The extent to which endogenous H/Kbeta contributes toward the tolerance of the H/Kbeta-specific T cell repertoire in normal individuals is not known. By comparison of T cell responses in H/Kbeta-deficient (o/o) and H/Kbeta-expressing BALB/c mice, in this work we show that the endogenous H/Kbeta autoantigen plays a major role in the tolerance of pathogenic H/Kbeta-specific T cells. First, T cell-dependent Ab responses to the H/Kbeta Ag were enhanced in H/K ATPase-immunized H/Kbeta-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. Second, peptide immunization experiments indicated that immune responses to the major gastritogenic epitope of the H/K ATPase, namely H/Kbeta(253-277), were significantly more vigorous in H/Kbeta-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. Third, unfractionated splenocytes from H/Kbeta-deficient mice, but not H/Kbeta-expressing mice, induced autoimmune gastritis after adoptive transfer to BALB/c nude mice. The enhanced responses to H/Kbeta in H/Kbeta-deficient mice were shown to be intrinsic to CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells rather than a change in status of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. We conclude from these studies that the H/Kbeta-specific T cells in wild-type mice represent the residue of a T cell repertoire, directed toward a single determinant, that has been subjected to partial tolerance induction.
Laurie, K. L., van Driel, I. R., Zwar, T. D., Barrett, S. P., & Gleeson, P. A. (2002). Endogenous H/K ATPase -Subunit Promotes T Cell Tolerance to the Immunodominant Gastritogenic Determinant. The Journal of Immunology, 169(5), 2361–2367. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.169.5.2361