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J Exp Med. 2003 Nov 3;198(9):1369-80. Epub 2003 Oct 27.

CD27 promotes survival of activated T cells and complements CD28 in generation and establishment of the effector T cell pool.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands.


CD27, like CD28, acts in concert with the T cell receptor to support T cell expansion. Using CD27(-/-) mice, we have shown earlier that CD27 determines the magnitude of primary and memory T cell responses to influenza virus. Here, we have examined the relative contributions of CD27 and CD28 to generation of the virus-specific effector T cell pool and its establishment at the site of infection (the lung), using CD27(-/-), CD28(-/-), and CD27/CD28(-/-) mice. We find that primary and memory CD8+ T cell responses to influenza virus are dependent on the collective contribution of both receptors. In the primary response, CD27 and CD28 impact to a similar extent on expansion of virus-specific T cells in draining lymph nodes. CD27 is the principle determinant for accumulation of virus-specific T cells in the lung because it can sustain this response in CD28(-/-) mice. Unlike CD28, CD27 does not affect cell cycle activity, but promotes survival of activated T cells throughout successive rounds of division at the site of priming and may do so at the site of infection as well. CD27 was found to rescue CD28(-/-) T cells from death at the onset of division, explaining its capacity to support a T cell response in absence of CD28.

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