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Prevention of experimental encephalomyelitis with peptides that block interaction of T cells with major histocompatibility complex proteins.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Two synthetic immunodominant and nonencephalitogenic peptides of myelin basic protein, N1-20 and AcN9-20, effectively compete with an encephalitogenic peptide, AcN1-11, in an in vitro T-cell response restricted by class II major histocompatibility complex products (I-Au). These mutant peptide constructs, which do not occur in nature, also compete with the self-antigen for the in vivo induction of T cells primed with the encephalitogen AcN1-11. By using these nonpathogenic competitor peptides, it is possible to prevent the development of a prototypic T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. These results suggest possibilities for the utilization of competitor peptides for therapy of T-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases linked to specific major histocompatibility complex genes.

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