T cell recognition of epithelial self

William H. Hines, Thomas P. Haverty, Jack A. Elias, Eric G. Neilson, Carolyn J. Kelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The presentation of self-antigens to circulating T cells is a critical, precipitating event in the induction of autoimmune injury in parenchymal organs. Epithelia expressing these self-antigens are thought to release such moieties for reprocessing by traditional antigen-presenting cells within the lymphoid system. We now demonstrate, however, that some epithelium possess novel functional mechanisms for presenting their own antigens to a responsive, syngeneic T cell repertoire. The presentation of these self-antigens occurs in the context of MHC class II molecules and depends on CD4 associative-recognition determinants. Our findings strongly suggest that organ epithelium may directly activate cell-mediated events to produce autoimmunity through self-recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


  • Antigen-presenting cell
  • Class II MHC
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Organ-specific antigens
  • T helper clones
  • Tubular epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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