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Int Immunol. 2004 Mar;16(3):467-75.

BAFF production by antigen-presenting cells provides T cell co-stimulation.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center, 1 rue Michel-Servet, 7211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


The B cell-activating factor from the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF) is an important regulator of B cell immunity. Recently, we demonstrated that recombinant BAFF also provides a co-stimulatory signal to T cells. Here, we studied expression of BAFF in peripheral blood leukocytes and correlated this expression with BAFF T cell co-stimulatory function. BAFF is produced by antigen-presenting cells (APC). Blood dendritic cells (DC) as well as DC differentiated in vitro from monocytes or CD34+ stem cells express BAFF mRNA. Exposure to bacterial products further up-regulates BAFF production in these cells. A low level of BAFF transcription, up-regulated upon TCR stimulation, was also detected in T cells. Functionally, blockade of endogenous BAFF produced by APC and, to a lesser extent, by T cells inhibits T cell activation. Altogether, this indicates that BAFF may regulate T cell immunity during APC-T cell interactions and as an autocrine factor once T cells have detached from the APC.

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