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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 28;106(17):7119-24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0902745106. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

IL-1 acts directly on CD4 T cells to enhance their antigen-driven expansion and differentiation.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1892, USA..


IL-1 causes a marked increase in the degree of expansion of naïve and memory CD4 T cells in response to challenge with their cognate antigen. The response occurs when only specific CD4 T cells can respond to IL-1beta, is not induced by a series of other cytokines and does not depend on IL-6 or CD-28. When WT cells are primed in IL-1R1(-/-) recipients, IL-1 increases the proportion of cytokine-producing transgenic CD4 T cells, especially IL-17- and IL-4-producing cells, strikingly increases serum IgE levels and serum IgG1 levels. IL-1beta enhances antigen-mediated expansion of in vitro primed Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells transferred to IL-1R1(-/-) recipients. The IL-1 receptor antagonist diminished responses to antigen plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by approximately 55%. These results indicate that IL-1beta signaling in T cells markedly induces robust and durable primary and secondary CD4 responses.

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