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Immunity. 2008 Dec 19;29(6):934-46. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.10.009. Epub 2008 Dec 8.

Expression of costimulatory ligand CD70 on steady-state dendritic cells breaks CD8+ T cell tolerance and permits effective immunity.

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Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Steady-state dendritic cells (DCs) maintain peripheral T cell tolerance, whereas mature DCs generate immunity. CD70 is a costimulatory ligand acquired upon DC maturation. To determine its impact on T cell fate, we have generated mice that constitutively express CD70 in conventional DCs (cDCs). In these mice, naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells spontaneously convert into effector cells. Administration of peptide without adjuvant, which is ordinarily tolerogenic, elicited tumor-eradicating CD8+ T cell responses and robust CD4+ T cell-independent memory. CD70 was also constitutively expressed in cDCs that inducibly present viral epitopes. In this case, tolerance induction was prevented as well. The antigen-presenting DCs generated protective immunity to virus infection and broke a pre-existing state of CD8+ T cell tolerance. Thus, the sole expression of CD70 by otherwise immature cDCs sufficed to convert CD8+ T cell tolerance into immunity, defining the importance of CD27-CD70 interactions at the interface between T cell and DC.

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