The importance of high TCR diversity of Tregulatory (Treg) cells for self-tolerance is poorly understood. To address this issue, TCR diversity was measured for Treg cells after transfer into IL-2Rβ-/- mice, which develop lethal autoimmunity because of failed production of Treg cells. In this study, we show that high TCR diversity of pretransferred Treg cells led to selection of therapeutic Treg cells with lower TCR diversity that prevented autoimmunity. Pretransferred Treg cells with lower diversity led to selection of Treg cells through substantial peripheral reshaping with even more restricted TCR diversity that also suppressed autoimmune symptoms. Thus, in a setting of severe breakdown of immune tolerance because of failed production of Treg cells, control of autoimmunity is achieved by only a fraction of the Treg TCR repertoire, but the risk for disease increased. These data support a model in which high Treg TCR diversity is a mechanism to ensure establishing and maintaining self-tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy