Neonatal tolerant immunity for vaccination against autoimmunity

Booki Min, Kevin L. Legge, Lequn Li, Jacque C. Caprio, Christopher D. Pack, Randal Gregg, Donald McGavin, David Slauson, Habib Zaghouani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Autoimmunity arises when the immune system no longer tolerates self and precipitates lymphocyte reactivity against our own antigens. Although the developing T cell repertoire is constantly purging, self-recognition events do exist when such tight control is evaded and autoreactive lymphocytes escape the thymus (the sites of T cell development) and migrate to the periphery. Upon activation these autoreactive cells may exert aggressive behavior toward one's own tissues and organs leading to autoimmune disease. Multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes are autoimmune diseases mediated by autoreactive T cells. A logical approach to prevent such autoimmunity would be to reprogram those lymphocytes to tolerate the self antigen. Injection of antigen at the neonatal stage promotes a state of tolerance such that successive encounter with antigen does not precipitate aggressive reactions. The mechanism underlying neonatal tolerance involves priming of T cells whose effector functions do not cause inflammatory reactions upon recognition of antigen but rather induce protective immunity. This form of tolerant immunity provides an attractive strategy for vaccination against autoimmunity. Herein, it is shown that neonatal exposure to a self-peptide-immunoglobulin chimera drives a tolerant immunity toward the self-peptide and protects against the autoimmune disease, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-264
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Autoimmunity
  • EAE
  • T lymphocytes
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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