Tolerance without clonal expansion: self-antigen-expressing B cells program self-reactive T cells for future deletion.


B cells have been shown in various animal models to induce immunological tolerance leading to reduced immune responses and protection from autoimmunity. We show that interaction of B cells with naive T cells results in T cell triggering accompanied by the expression of negative costimulatory molecules such as PD-1, CTLA-4, B and T lymphocyte attenuator, and CD5. Following interaction with B cells, T cells were not induced to proliferate, in a process that was dependent on their expression of PD-1 and CTLA-4, but not CD5. In contrast, the T cells became sensitive to Ag-induced cell death. Our results demonstrate that B cells participate in the homeostasis of the immune system by ablation of conventional self-reactive T cells.

J Immunol