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

Peripheral CD8+ T cell tolerance against melanocytic self-antigens in the skin is regulated in two steps by CD4+ T cells and local inflammation: implications for the pathophysiology of vitiligo.

Experimental evidence has suggested a role for CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in the pathophysiology of vitiligo, a pigmentation disorder with focal loss of melanocytes in the skin. The discovery of tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP2) as a model melanocytic self-antigen recognized by CD8+ CTL in C57BL/6 mice allowed us to analyze the requirements for CD8+ T cell-mediated autoimmune destruction of melanocytes in an experimental model. Using two different genetic methods for the induction of cellular immunity in vivo, gene gun bombardment of the skin and injection of recombinant adenovirus, we show that peripheral tolerance of CD8+ T cells recognizing a single TRP2-derived H2-Kb-binding peptide is regulated in two steps. In the induction phase, stimulation and expansion of TRP2-specific CD8+ T cells in vivo depend on CD4+ T cell help. In the effector phase, autoimmune destruction of melanocytes in the skin depends on local inflammation. Our results suggest that accidental stimulation of CD8+ CTL recognizing major histocompatibility complex class I- binding peptides derived from melanocytic proteins in the context of an inflammatory skin disease may play an important role in the pathophysiology of vitiligo.[1]


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