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Over the last five years it has become increasingly clear that the peripheral immune system can maintain tolerance to both self and non-self antigens through a variety of mechanisms. Although clonal deletion may play an important part in limiting rapidly expanding responses, there are many examples where antigen reactive T cells remain. It has been proposed that tolerance is maintained in this situation either by the induction of anergy or by ongoing suppression. The phenomenon known as immune deviation, where non-inflammatory Th2 responses could suppress Th1 and positively reinforce themselves provided an attractive explanation for infectious tolerance, where tolerant T cells could guide further naive T cells also to tolerance. However, experiments to test this hypothesis in the models of CD4 and CD8 antibody-induced tolerance have given conflicting data, with no clear evidence of Th2 responses in tolerant mice. In this paper we review recent data that IL-4 plays a role in suppression, but that the source of 1L-4 may not be the tolerant/suppressor T cell. We also discuss how infectious tolerance can operate on third party antigens if they are linked on the same antigen presenting cell and how CD4+T cells can suppress CD8+T-cell responses. Finally, we suggest a model of infectious anergy that is compatible with the available data.


Journal article


Immunological Reviews

Publication Date