Identification and sequencing of various autoantigens has led to the development of new approaches to modulate autoimmune T-cell activity. In EAE, for example, the encephalito-genic peptides of MBP have been well characterized. Synthetic peptides differing by only one amino acid from their MBP counterpart have been shown to bind to the appropriate MHC molecule. Moreover, when sufficient amounts of such a peptide were administered along with the corresponding encephalitogenic MBP peptide, the clinical development of EAE was blocked. Presumably, the synthetic peptide acts as a competitor, occupying the antigen-binding cleft on MHC molecules and thus preventing binding of the MBP peptide.
In other studies, blocking peptides complexed to soluble class II MHC molecules reversed the clinical progression of EAE in mice, presumably by inducing a state of clonal anergy in the autoimmune T cells.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.