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J Exp Med. 1990 December 1; 172(6): 1701–1708.
PMCID: PMC2188779

OX-22high CD4+ T cells induce wasting disease with multiple organ pathology: prevention by the OX-22low subset [published erratum appears in J Exp Med 1991 Apr 1;173(4):1037]


Congenitally athymic rats injected with CD45RBhigh CD4+ T cells from congenic euthymic donors developed a severe wasting disease with inflammatory infiltrates in liver, lung, stomach, thyroid, and pancreas. In contrast, recipients of CD45RBlow CD4+ T cells remained well and continued to gain weight. Animals given unfractionated CD4+ T cells, i.e., a mixture of approximately two-thirds CD45RBhigh and one- third CD45RBlow, were protected from the wasting disease, and the incidence of organ-specific inflammation was much reduced compared with that found in recipients of CD45RBhigh cells alone. The data suggest that this latter subset of CD4+ T cells has autoaggressive potential that is inhibited in normal animals by cells of the CD45RBlow CD4+ phenotype. The possible consequences of a breakdown in this immunoregulatory mechanism are briefly discussed.

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