Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Howard Y. Chang

Publication Details

  • Deletional tolerance mediated by extrathymic Aire-expressing cells SCIENCE Gardner, J. M., DeVoss, J. J., Friedman, R. S., Wong, D. J., Tan, Y. X., Zhou, X., Johannes, K. P., Su, M. A., Chang, H. Y., Krummel, M. F., Anderson, M. S. 2008; 321 (5890): 843-847


    The prevention of autoimmunity requires the elimination of self-reactive T cells during their development and maturation. The expression of diverse self-antigens by stromal cells in the thymus is essential to this process and depends, in part, on the activity of the autoimmune regulator (Aire) gene. Here we report the identification of extrathymic Aire-expressing cells (eTACs) resident within the secondary lymphoid organs. These stromally derived eTACs express a diverse array of distinct self-antigens and are capable of interacting with and deleting naïve autoreactive T cells. Using two-photon microscopy, we observed stable antigen-specific interactions between eTACs and autoreactive T cells. We propose that such a secondary network of self-antigen-expressing stromal cells may help reinforce immune tolerance by preventing the maturation of autoreactive T cells that escape thymic negative selection.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1159407

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258261000048

    View details for PubMedID 18687966

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