Oral tolerance likely evolved as an analog of self tolerance, in order to prevent hypersensitivity reactions to foods and commensal bacteria. Oral tolerance is a continuously developing immunological process, stimulated by exogenous antigens which enter the gut. Due to their preferential access to the internal medium, antigens entering via the gut represent a special
category of antigens, at the border between self and non-self. Dietary CYC202 purchase tolerance thus becomes a form of peripheral tolerance, a process by which food antigens and commensal microorganisms are considered a future part of the self (30). There are two main pathways for inducing oral tolerance: stimulation of the development of Tregs to an antigen which has been eaten, and clonal anergy of effector cells which might react to a particular antigen (31). The most important factor determining what kind of tolerance will develop is the antigen dose (32). Small doses of oral antigen favor the development of Tregs, while larger doses lead to deletion of active clones. Small doses lead to antigen presentation through dendritic cells belonging to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, with consequent increased synthesis of regulatory cytokines, such as IL-10, TGF-β and IL-4 (33). Afterwards, these dendritic cells migrate to local lymph nodes, where they suppress immune responses by inhibiting effector cells through regulatory cytokines.
These cytokines act not only on effector cells which recognize the antigen presented by the tolerogenic dendritic
cells, but also on effector Dorsomorphin mw cells from the immediate proximity, inside the lymph node (bystander suppression) (34). As previously shown by Lonnqvist et al., treatment of G protein-coupled receptor kinase neonatal mice with orally administered SEA promotes the development of oral tolerance to OVA when it is fed to adult mice (Fig. 1) (35). SEA, one of the strongest known T-cell mitogens, does not reverse, but rather augments, the tolerogenic type of intestinal immune responses. SEA binds to the TCR of IELs and to the MHC-II of the dendritic cells which cross the epithelium to take up samples from the intestinal lumen. The result is excessive stimulation of IELs, with increased local IFN-γ production, probably through a MyD88-dependent mechanism (36). IFN-γ stimulates normal enterocytes to process peptides rapidly for presentation through MHC-II (37). Although enterocytes are not professional antigen presenting cells, it has been found that they participate in the development of oral tolerance by production of MHC-II-associated peptides (38). Such production occurs, not only when stimulated by SEA or other inflammatory stimuli, but also physiologically, in which case it is at a lower rate (39). MHC-II-associated peptides can be presented directly to CD4+ lymphocytes (40) or packed in the form of corpuscles, or small cellular fragments, which detach from the basal poles of enterocytes.