B cell knockout mice microMT/microMT were used to examine the requirement for B cell antigen (Ag) presentation in the establishment of CD4+ T cell tolerance. CD4+T cells from microMT mice injected with exogenous protein Ag in adjuvant responded to in vitro challenge by transcription of cytokine mRNA, cytokine secretion, and proliferation. Peripheral tolerance could be established in microMT mice with a single dose of deaggragated protein. This tolerance was manifested by a loss of T cell proliferation and cytokine production (including both T helper cell type 1 [Th1]- and Th2-related cytokines), indicating that B cells are not required for the induction of peripheral T cell tolerance and suggesting that the dual zone tolerance theory is not applicable to all protein Ags and is not mediated through Ag presentation by B cells.

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