Central Tolerance: The mechanism, in central lymphoid organs (THYMUS; BONE MARROW), that prevents immature lymphocytes from reacting to SELF-ANTIGENS. This is accomplished by CLONAL ANERGY and CLONAL DELETION.Self Tolerance: The normal lack of the ability to produce an immunological response to autologous (self) antigens. A breakdown of self tolerance leads to autoimmune diseases. The ability to recognize the difference between self and non-self is the prime function of the immune system.Immune Tolerance: The specific failure of a normally responsive individual to make an immune response to a known antigen. It results from previous contact with the antigen by an immunologically immature individual (fetus or neonate) or by an adult exposed to extreme high-dose or low-dose antigen, or by exposure to radiation, antimetabolites, antilymphocytic serum, etc.Thymus Gland: A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the MEDIASTINUM, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the THYROID GLAND and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat.Clonal Deletion: Removal, via CELL DEATH, of immature lymphocytes that interact with antigens during maturation. For T-lymphocytes this occurs in the thymus and ensures that mature T-lymphocytes are self tolerant. B-lymphocytes may also undergo clonal deletion.Autoantigens: Endogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with AUTOANTIBODIES and cause an immune response.Autoimmunity: Process whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues. Autoimmunity may produce or be caused by AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.Drug Tolerance: Progressive diminution of the susceptibility of a human or animal to the effects of a drug, resulting from its continued administration. It should be differentiated from DRUG RESISTANCE wherein an organism, disease, or tissue fails to respond to the intended effectiveness of a chemical or drug. It should also be differentiated from MAXIMUM TOLERATED DOSE and NO-OBSERVED-ADVERSE-EFFECT LEVEL.Lymphotoxin beta Receptor: A member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. It has specificity for LYMPHOTOXIN ALPHA1, BETA2 HETEROTRIMER and TUMOR NECROSIS FACTOR LIGAND SUPERFAMILY MEMBER 14. The receptor plays a role in regulating lymphoid ORGANOGENESIS and the differentiation of certain subsets of NATURAL KILLER T-CELLS. Signaling of the receptor occurs through its association with TNF RECEPTOR-ASSOCIATED FACTORS.Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune: Autoimmune diseases affecting multiple endocrine organs. Type I is characterized by childhood onset and chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CANDIDIASIS, CHRONIC MUCOCUTANEOUS), while type II exhibits any combination of adrenal insufficiency (ADDISON'S DISEASE), lymphocytic thyroiditis (THYROIDITIS, AUTOIMMUNE;), HYPOPARATHYROIDISM; and gonadal failure. In both types organ-specific ANTIBODIES against a variety of ENDOCRINE GLANDS have been detected. The type II syndrome differs from type I in that it is associated with HLA-A1 and B8 haplotypes, onset is usually in adulthood, and candidiasis is not present.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Mice, Inbred C57BLMice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.T-Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified - cytotoxic (T-LYMPHOCYTES, CYTOTOXIC) and helper T-lymphocytes (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the THYMUS GLAND and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Mice, Inbred NOD: A strain of non-obese diabetic mice developed in Japan that has been widely studied as a model for T-cell-dependent autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in which insulitis is a major histopathologic feature, and in which genetic susceptibility is strongly MHC-linked.Epithelial Cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers (EPITHELIUM) or masses. Epithelial cells lining the SKIN; the MOUTH; the NOSE; and the ANAL CANAL derive from ectoderm; those lining the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM and the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM derive from endoderm; others (CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM and LYMPHATIC SYSTEM) derive from mesoderm. Epithelial cells can be classified mainly by cell shape and function into squamous, glandular and transitional epithelial cells.Glucose Tolerance Test: A test to determine the ability of an individual to maintain HOMEOSTASIS of BLOOD GLUCOSE. It includes measuring blood glucose levels in a fasting state, and at prescribed intervals before and after oral glucose intake (75 or 100 g) or intravenous infusion (0.5 g/kg).T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory: CD4-positive T cells that inhibit immunopathology or autoimmune disease in vivo. They inhibit the immune response by influencing the activity of other cell types. Regulatory T-cells include naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ cells, IL-10 secreting Tr1 cells, and Th3 cells.Antigen-Presenting Cells: A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include MACROPHAGES; DENDRITIC CELLS; LANGERHANS CELLS; and B-LYMPHOCYTES. FOLLICULAR DENDRITIC CELLS are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of IMMUNE COMPLEXES for B-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors.Dendritic Cells: Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as SKIN and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process ANTIGENS, and present them to T-CELLS, thereby stimulating CELL-MEDIATED IMMUNITY. They are different from the non-hematopoietic FOLLICULAR DENDRITIC CELLS, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (ANTIBODY PRODUCTION).Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Mice, Inbred BALB CT-Lymphocyte Subsets: A classification of T-lymphocytes, especially into helper/inducer, suppressor/effector, and cytotoxic subsets, based on structurally or functionally different populations of cells.B-Lymphocytes: Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation.CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes: A critical subpopulation of T-lymphocytes involved in the induction of most immunological functions. The HIV virus has selective tropism for the T4 cell which expresses the CD4 phenotypic marker, a receptor for HIV. In fact, the key element in the profound immunosuppression seen in HIV infection is the depletion of this subset of T-lymphocytes.Transplantation Tolerance: An induced state of non-reactivity to grafted tissue from a donor organism that would ordinarily trigger a cell-mediated or humoral immune response.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell: Molecules on the surface of T-lymphocytes that recognize and combine with antigens. The receptors are non-covalently associated with a complex of several polypeptides collectively called CD3 antigens (ANTIGENS, CD3). Recognition of foreign antigen and the major histocompatibility complex is accomplished by a single heterodimeric antigen-receptor structure, composed of either alpha-beta (RECEPTORS, ANTIGEN, T-CELL, ALPHA-BETA) or gamma-delta (RECEPTORS, ANTIGEN, T-CELL, GAMMA-DELTA) chains.Lymphocyte Activation: Morphologic alteration of small B LYMPHOCYTES or T LYMPHOCYTES in culture into large blast-like cells able to synthesize DNA and RNA and to divide mitotically. It is induced by INTERLEUKINS; MITOGENS such as PHYTOHEMAGGLUTININS, and by specific ANTIGENS. It may also occur in vivo as in GRAFT REJECTION.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.