Experiments in various models have indicated that immunological tolerance can result from the physical elimination (deletion) of reactive lymphocytes as well as from anergy. We have previously reported that mature CD4-CD8+ T cells when confronted with their antigen can proliferate extensively but are finally eliminated or become intrinsically anergic such that remaining cells are refractory to stimulation by any T cell receptor ligands, even in the presence of exogenous interleukin 2. Here we show that in vivo the anergy can be reversed in the absence of antigen, such that the cells are then able to proliferate extensively in vivo to a new challenge with the antigen in question.

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