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J Immunol. 2002 May 1;168(9):4262-7.

Cutting edge: Expression of functional CD137 receptor by dendritic cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Interaction between dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells is a prerequisite for the initiation of a T cell response. The molecular nature of this interaction remains to be fully characterized. We report in this work that freshly isolated mouse splenic DCs and bone marrow-derived DCs express CD137 on the cell surface and in soluble form. Triggering CD137 increased the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 from DCs. More importantly, infusion of an agonistic mAb to CD137 into naive mice enhanced the ability of DCs to stimulate T cell proliferation in response to both alloantigens and a nominal Ag in vitro. This enhancement of DC function is not mediated through activation of T cells, because the effect was also observed in RAG-1 knockout mice that lack T cells. Our findings implicate CD137 as an important receptor involved in the modulation of DC function.

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