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Immunity. 2003 Dec;19(6):877-89.

CD40 ligation releases immature dendritic cells from the control of regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells.

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Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


We report that disruption of CD154 in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice abrogates the helper function of CD4+CD25- T cells without impairing the regulatory activity of CD4+CD25+ T cells. Whereas CD4+ T cells from NOD mice enhanced a diabetogenic CD8+ T cell response in monoclonal TCR-transgenic NOD mice, CD4+ T cells from NOD.CD154(-/-) mice actively suppressed it. Suppression was mediated by regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells capable of inhibiting CD8+ T cell responses induced by peptide-pulsed dendritic cells (DCs), but not peptide/MHC monomers. It involved inhibition of DC maturation, did not occur in the presence of CD154+ T-helper cells, and could be inhibited by activation of DCs with LPS, CpG DNA, or an agonistic anti-CD40 mAb. Thus, in at least some genetic backgrounds, CD154-CD40 interactions and innate stimuli release immature DCs from suppression by CD4+CD25+ T cells.

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