It has been demonstrated that modified peptides which fail to induce detectable T cell responses can act as T cell receptor (TCR) antagonists when presented together with agonist by the same antigen-presenting cell (APC). We report that a TCR antagonist competitively inhibits TCR triggering induced by low-affinity ligands such as agonistic peptides or bacterial superantigens. However, the same antagonist cannot inhibit TCR triggering and T cell activation induced by high-affinity anti-CD3 antibodies that engage most TCR at once. These results indicate that TCR antagonists inhibit T cell responses by interfering with the ongoing process of serial triggering, rather than by delivering an inhibitory signal to T cells.
- Low- and high-affinity ligands
- T cell receptor antagonism
- T cell receptor downregulation
- T cell receptor serial triggering
ASJC Scopus subject areas