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J Exp Med. 2005 Nov 7;202(9):1213-23.

TSLP-activated dendritic cells induce an inflammatory T helper type 2 cell response through OX40 ligand.

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Center for Cancer Immunology Research, Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, 77030, USA.


We recently showed that dendritic cells (DCs) activated by thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) prime naive CD4(+) T cells to differentiate into T helper type 2 (Th2) cells that produced high amounts of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), but no interleukin (IL)-10. Here we report that TSLP induced human DCs to express OX40 ligand (OX40L) but not IL-12. TSLP-induced OX40L on DCs was required for triggering naive CD4(+) T cells to produce IL-4, -5, and -13. We further revealed the following three novel functional properties of OX40L: (a) OX40L selectively promoted TNF-alpha, but inhibited IL-10 production in developing Th2 cells; (b) OX40L lost the ability to polarize Th2 cells in the presence of IL-12; and (c) OX40L exacerbated IL-12-induced Th1 cell inflammation by promoting TNF-alpha, while inhibiting IL-10. We conclude that OX40L on TSLP-activated DCs triggers Th2 cell polarization in the absence of IL-12, and propose that OX40L can switch IL-10-producing regulatory Th cell responses into TNF-alpha-producing inflammatory Th cell responses.

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