Received July 24, 2012
Anergy is a long-term stable state of T-lymphocyte unresponsiveness to antigenic stimulation associated with the blockade of IL-2 production and proliferation. Anergy is a pathway of peripheral tolerance formation. In this review, mechanisms underlying T-cell tolerization are considered in a classical in vitro model of clonal anergy, and these mechanisms are compared with different pathways of anergy induction in vivo. Special attention is given to regulatory T-lymphocytes because, on one hand, anergy is a specific feature of these cells, and on the other hand anergy is also a mechanism of their action on target cells – effector T-lymphocytes. The role of this phenomenon in the differentiation of regulatory T-cells and also in the development of activation-induced apoptosis in effector T-lymphocytes is discussed.
KEY WORDS: T-lymphocytes, anergy, signal transduction, regulatory T-lymphocytes, apoptosis