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J Immunol. 2006 Sep 1;177(5):3074-81.

Neonatal and adult CD4+ CD3- cells share similar gene expression profile, and neonatal cells up-regulate OX40 ligand in response to TL1A (TNFSF15).

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  • 1Medical Research Council Centre for Immune Regulation, Institute for Biomedical Research, Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


We report here the quantitative expression of a set of immunity-related genes, including TNF family members, chemokine receptors, and transcription factors, in a CD4+ CD3- accessory cell. By correlating gene expression between cell-sorted populations of defined phenotype, we show that the genetic fingerprint of these CD4+ CD3- cells is distinct from dendritic cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells, T cells, B cells, and NK cells. In contrast, it is highly similar to CD4+ CD3- cells isolated from embryonic and neonatal tissues, with the exception that only adult populations express OX40L and CD30L. We have previously reported that IL-7 signals regulate CD30L expression. In the present study, we show that both neonatal and adult CD4+ CD3- cells express the TNF family member, death receptor 3 (TNFRSF25), and that addition of TL1A (TNFSF15), the ligand for death receptor 3, up-regulates OX40L on neonatal CD4+ CD3- cells. Finally, we demonstrate that this differentiation occurs in vivo: neonatal CD4+ CD3- cells up-regulate both CD30L and OX40L after adoptive transfer into an adult recipient.

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