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Eur J Immunol. 1996 Feb;26(2):370-8.

CD40/CD40 ligand interactions are required for T cell-dependent production of interleukin-12 by mouse macrophages.

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Immunex Corporation, Seattle, USA.


We have previously shown that T cell receptor-activated mouse T helper (Th)1 clones induce the production of interleukin (IL)-12 by splenic antigen-presenting cells (APC). Here, we show that the expression of CD40L by activated T cells is critical for T cell-dependent IL-12 production by mouse macrophages. IL-12 was produced in cultures containing alloreactive Th1 clones stimulated with allogeneic peritoneal macrophages, or in cultures of splenocytes stimulated with anti-CD3. Anti-CD40L monoclonal antibodies (mAb) inhibited the production of IL-12, but not IL-2, in these cultures by approximately 90% and had dramatic inhibitory effects on antigen-dependent proliferation of Th1 clones. In addition, both activated T cells and a Th1 clone derived from CD40L knockout mice failed to induce IL-12 production from splenic APC or peritoneal macrophages. Finally, macrophages cultured in the absence of T cells produced IL-12 upon stimulation with soluble recombinant CD40L in combination with either supernatants from activated Th1 clones or with interferon-gamma and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Thus, both CD40L-dependent and cytokine-mediated signals from activated T cells are required to induce the production of IL-12 by macrophages. A blockade at the level of IL-12 production may explain, at least in part, the dramatic ability of anti-CD40L mAb to inhibit disease in animal models that are dependent upon the generation of a cell-mediated immune response. Moreover, a defect in T cell-dependent induction of IL-12 may contribute to the immune status of humans that lack functional CD40L.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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