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Mol Immunol. 2019 Jul 22;114:81-87. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2019.07.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Conditions of limited calcium influx (CLCI) inhibits IL2 induction and favors expression of anergy-related genes in TCR/CD3 and CD28 costimulated primary human T cells.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: monaco@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de.
2
Department of Immunology, Heidelberg University, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: beate.jahraus@immu.uni-heidelberg.de.
3
Department of Immunology, Heidelberg University, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: Yvonne.Samstag@urz.uni-heidelberg.de.
4
Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: Bading@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de.

Abstract

Calcium is a key regulator of the T cell immune response. Depending on the spatial properties (nucleus versus cytoplasm) of the calcium signals generated after CD3xCD28 stimulation, primary human T cells either mount a productive immune response or develop tolerance. Nuclear calcium acts as a genomic decision maker: during T cell activation, it drives expression of genes associated with a productive immune response while in its absence, stimulated T cells acquire an anergy-like gene profile. Selective inhibition of nuclear calcium signaling in stimulated T cells blocks the productive immune response and directs the cells towards an anergy-like state. Here we show that the two transcriptional programs that include, respectively, the 'activation gene', interleukin 2 (IL2) and 'anergy-related genes', EGR2, EGR3, and CREM have different requirements for transmembrane calcium flux. By either lowering extracellular calcium concentrations with EGTA or using low concentrations of the ORAI blockers, BTP2 or RO2959, we reduced transmembrane calcium flux in human primary T cells stimulated with CD3xCD28. These 'conditions of limited calcium influx' (CLCI) blocked CD3xCD28-induced IL2 expression but only moderately affected induction of the anergy-related genes EGR2, EGR3, and CREM. We observed no difference in NFAT2 nuclear translocation after CD3xCD28 stimulation between normal conditions and CLCI. These results indicate that CLCI favors expression of anergy-related genes in activated human T cells. CLCI may be used to develop novel means for pro-tolerance immunosuppressive treatments.

KEYWORDS:

Anergy-related genes; Calcium; Gene expression; IL2; NFAT2; T cell activation

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