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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 1;170(1):33-40.

Expression of the murine CD27 ligand CD70 in vitro and in vivo.

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Laboratory for Experimental Immunology, Academic Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


The interaction between TNFR family member CD27 and its ligand CD70 promotes lymphocyte expansion and effector cell formation. In humans, control of CD27 function is partly regulated by the restricted expression of CD70. We used newly developed mAbs to characterize murine (m) CD70 expression in vitro and in vivo. On resting lymphocytes and immature dendritic cells (DC), mCD70 is absent. In vitro, Ag receptor triggering induced mCD70 mRNA in T cells, but cell surface protein expression was very low. Activated B cells synthesized much higher levels of mCD70 mRNA than activated T cells and clearly expressed mCD70 at the cell surface. mCD70 cell surface expression could also be induced on the DC line D1 and on in vitro-generated murine DC upon maturation. In lymphoid organs of naive mice, virtually no mCD70-expressing cells were found, with exception of cells in the thymic medulla, which may be epithelial in origin. However, after intranasal infection with influenza virus, lung-infiltrating T cells and T and B cells in draining lymph nodes expressed mCD70 according to immunohistology. In such activated lymphocytes, mCD70 protein is largely retained intracellularly. Plasma membrane expression of mCD70 was only detectable by flow cytometry on a small proportion of lung-infiltrating T cells and peaked at the height of the primary response. Thus, expression of CD70 in the mouse is highly regulated at the transcriptional and posttranslational level. This most likely serves to limit excessive effector cell formation after antigenic stimulation.

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