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Alloreactive CD8+ T cells may persist in animals made tolerant of transplanted tissues; their function is controlled through continuous censorship by regulatory CD4+ T cells. We sought to establish the stage at which such censorship operates. We found that monospecific CD8+ T cells introduced into tolerant animals responded to the tolerated tissue antigen as if they had received CD4+ T cell "help": they proliferated and accumulated normally. However, they did show compromised graft rejection, interferon-gamma production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that tolerance mediated by regulatory T cells acts by censoring immune effector functions rather than by limiting the induction of T cell responses.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Immunol

Publication Date





1208 - 1213


Animals, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Immune Tolerance, Interferon-gamma, Isoantigens, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Organ Transplantation, Transplantation Immunology