In experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) induced with mouse thyroglobulin (MTg), T cell receptor (TCR) Vβ gene usage in the pathogenesis of disease is unknown. We report here studies evaluating Vβ8 gene usage in EAT, as Vβ8+ T cells are reportedly involved in some experimental autoimmune diseases. Spleen cells (SC) from MTg-immunized CBA/J (H-2k) mice were activated in vitro for adoptive transfer into syngeneic recipients. Elimination of Vβ8+ T cells by treating recipients with Vβ8 monoclonal antibody (mAb) following transfer of MTg-activated SC did not reduce disease severity. Conversely, MTg-primed SC were stimulated in vitro with Vβ8 mAb or staphylococcal enterotoxin B, which activates Vβ8+ T cells in CBA/J mice. Neither activated population transferred disease, in contrast to cells activated with MTg. Thus, in MTg-induced EAT, Vβ8+ T cells do not play a major role in pathogenesis.
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