Characterization of human T-cell responses to Yersinia enterocolitica superantigen

P. Michael Stuart, Rita K. Munn, Edward DeMoll, Jerold G. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We reported that antigenic preparations from Yersinia enterocolitica stimulate murine T cells in a manner consistent with that of superantigens. As a consequence we examined whether Y. enterocolitica antigenic preparations stimulate human T-cell cultures. Human T cells, enriched from peripheral blood lymphocytes, were stimulated to proliferate in the presence of Y. Enterocolitica cytoplasmic and membrane preparations. This activity has also been shown to be sensitive to protease treatment, indicating the presence of a protein, and when separated by ion-exchange chromatography a single peak of activity is resolved. Furthermore, this proliferation was inhibited, in a dose-dependent manner, by the presence of antibodies directed against MHC class II antigens, indicating a requirement for these molecules. When these cells were stained with a panel of Vβ-specific antibodies to determine if there was an enrichment of a particular Vβ-bearing T-cell subset after stimulation, results indicate a significant enrichment of T cells bearing Vβ3, Vβl2, Vβl4, and Vβl7 over controls. Taken together, these data are consistent with a Y. enterocolitica product acting as a superantigen for human T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to acknowledgeth e fine technicala ssistancpe rovided by Kathy Omer and You Xia at the University of Kentucky and by ElenaJ imenez and Jennine Cabanellasa t Washington University. This work was supportedi n part by NIH Grants CA39070, EY09638, and P30 EY02687, and unrestricted grants from Researcht o Prevent Blindness. P.M.S. was supPorted by an Arthritis InvestigatorA ward and a Researcht o Prevent Blindness CareerD evelopmentA ward. R.K.M. was supportedb y a National Instituteso f Health PostdoctoraFl el-lowship (A108632).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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