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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Perinatal blockade of b7-1 and b7-2 inhibits clonal deletion of highly pathogenic autoreactive T cells.

A number of in vitro studies have suggested that costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 and their receptor CD28 can promote clonal deletion, and limited in vivo studies have indicated that CD28 is involved in the clonal deletion of some T cells. However, the significance of B7-mediated clonal deletion in preventing autoimmune diseases has not been studied systematically. Here we report that the perinatal blockade of B7-1 and B7-2 substantially inhibits the clonal deletion of T cells in the thymus and leads to an accumulation of T cells capable of inducing fatal multiorgan inflammation. These results reveal a critical role for costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 in deleting pathogenic autoreactive T cells in the thymus. The critical role of B7-1 and B7-2 in T cell clonal deletion may explain, at least in part, the paradoxical increase of autoimmune disease in mice deficient for this family of costimulatory molecules, such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated molecule 4, CD28, and B7-2. The strong pathogenicity of the self-reactive T cells supports a central hypothesis in immunology, which is that clonal deletion plays an important role in preventing autoimmune diseases.[1]


  1. Perinatal blockade of b7-1 and b7-2 inhibits clonal deletion of highly pathogenic autoreactive T cells. Gao, J.X., Zhang, H., Bai, X.F., Wen, J., Zheng, X., Liu, J., Zheng, P., Liu, Y. J. Exp. Med. (2002) [Pubmed]
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