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SP0051 Hsp reactive T cells as inflammation regulators
  1. W Van Eden1,
  2. L Paul1,
  3. U Wendling1,
  4. P Van Kooten1,
  5. J Bos-de Ruijter1,
  6. R Van der Zee1,
  7. B Prakken2
  1. 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pediatric Immunology, University Hospital for Children and Youth, Utrecht, The Netherlands


Immunisation with heat shock proteins has protective effects in models of induced arthritis. Analysis has shown a reduced synovial inflammation in such protected animals. Adoptive transfer and immunisation with selected T cell epitopes (synthetic peptides) have indicated the protection to be mediated by T cells directed to conserved hsp epitopes. This was shown first for mycobacterial hsp601 and later for mycobacterial hsp70.2,3

Fine specificity analysis showed that such T cells were cross-reactive with the homologous self hsp. Therefore protection by microbial hsp reactive T cells can be by cross-recognition of self hsp overexpressed in the inflamed tissue. Preimmunisation with hsp leads to a relative expansion of such self hsp cross-responsive T cells. The regulatory nature of such T cells may originate from mucosal tolerance maintained by commensal flora derived hsp or from partial activation through recognition of self hsp as a partial agonist (Altered Peptide Ligand) or in the absence of proper costimulation. Recently, we reported the selective upregulation of B7.2 on microbial hsp60 specific T cells in response to self hsp60.4 Through a preferred interaction with CTLA-4 on proinflammatory T cells this may constitute an effector mechanism of regulation. Also, regulatory T cells produced IL10.


  1. Anderton SM, van der Zee R, Prakken B, Noordzij A, van Eden W. Activation of T cells recognizing self 60-kD heat shock protein can protect against experimental arthritis. J Exp Med. 1995;181:943–52

  2. Tanaka S, Kimura Y, Mitani A, Yamamoto G, Nishimura H, Spallek R, Singh M, Noguchi T, Yoshikai Y. Activation of T cells recognizing an epitope of heat-shock protein 70 can protect against rat adjuvant arthritis. J Immunol. 1999;163:5560–65

  3. Wendling U, Paul L, van der Zee R, Prakken B, Singh M, van Eden W. A conserved mycobacterial heat shock protein (hsp) 70 sequence prevents adjuvant arthritis upon nasal administration and induces IL-10-producing T cells that cross-react with the mammalian self-hsp70 homologue. J Immunol. 2000;164:2711–17

  4. Paul AG, van Der Zee R, Taams LS, van Eden W. A self-hsp60 peptide acts as a partial agonist inducing expression of B7-2 on mycobacterial hsp60-specific T cells: a possible mechanism for inhibitory T cell regulation of adjuvant arthritis? Int Immunol. 2000;12:1041–50

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