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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 15;166(4):2323-32.

CD4+ and CD8+ T cell priming for contact hypersensitivity occurs independently of CD40-CD154 interactions.

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Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The primary effector cells of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) responses to dintrofluorobenzene (DNFB) are IFN-gamma-producing CD8(+) T cells, whereas CD4(+) T cells regulate the magnitude and duration of the response. The requirement for CD40-CD154 engagement during CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell priming by hapten-presenting Langerhans cells (hpLC) is undefined and was tested in the current study. Similar CHS responses to DNFB were elicited in wild-type and CD154(-/-) animals. DNFB sensitization of CD154(-/-) mice primed IFN-gamma-producing CD8(+) T cells and IL-4-producing CD4(+) T cells. However, anti-CD154 mAb MR1 given during hapten sensitization inhibited hapten-specific CD8(+), but not CD4(+), T cell development and the CHS response to challenge. F(ab')(2) of MR1 failed to inhibit CD8(+) T cell development and the CHS response suggesting that the mechanism of inhibition is distinct from that of CD40-CD154 blockade. Furthermore, anti-CD154 mAb did not inhibit CD8(+) T cell development and CHS responses in mice depleted of CD4(+) T cells or in CD4(-/-) mice. During in vitro proliferation assays, hpLC from mice treated with anti-CD154 mAb during DNFB sensitization were less stimulatory for hapten-primed T cells than hpLC from either control mice or mice depleted of CD4(+) T cells before anti-CD154 mAb administration. These results demonstrate that development of IFN-gamma-producing CD8(+) T cells and the CHS response are not dependent on CD40-CD154 interactions. This study proposes a novel mechanism of anti-CD154 mAb-mediated inhibition of CD8(+) T cell development where anti-CD154 mAb acts indirectly through CD4(+) T cells to impair the ability of hpLC to prime CD8(+) T cells.

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