Differences in processing of an autoantigen by DR4:Dw4.2 and DR4:Dw14.2 antigen-presenting cells

Authors

  • Michael W. Nicolle,

    1. Neurosciences Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, GB
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Victoria Hospital, 375 South Street, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 4G5
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  • Simon Hawke,

    1. Neurosciences Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, GB
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  • Nicholas Willcox,

    1. Neurosciences Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, GB
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  • Angela Vincent

    Corresponding author
    1. Neurosciences Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, GB
    • Neurosciences Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, GB (Fax: +44 865-222402)
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Abstract

Variations in antigen processing can influence class II-restricted T cell responses. We now report a highly significant difference (p < 0.001) between the ability of antigen-presenting cells from three HLA-DR4:Dw14.2 (Arg71) and six DR4:Dw4.2 (Lys71) individals to present recombinant or native acetylcholine receptor antigens to a myasthenia gravis T cell clone. The difference was greatest with longer antigens, and not seen with short synthetic peptides, suggesting that it may result from a difference in antigen processing between the two alleles. The results were not related to the presence of myasthenia gravis or of steroid therapy. They could, however, be of relevance in rheumatoid arthritis where particularly severe disease associates with Dw4.2/Dw14.2 heterozygosity.

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