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J Immunol. 2010 Apr 1;184(7):3554-61. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903250. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Depleting syndecan-4+ T lymphocytes using toxin-bearing dendritic cell-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycan-dependent integrin ligand: a new opportunity for treating activated T cell-driven disease.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Dermatology Section, Medical Service, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


Because syndecan-4 (SD-4) is expressed by some (but not all) T cells following activation and serves as the exclusive ligand of dendritic cell-associated heparan sulfate proteoglycan-dependent integrin ligand (DC-HIL), we envisioned the DC-HIL/SD-4 pathway to be a therapeutic target for conditions mediated by selectively activated T cells. We conjugated soluble DC-HIL receptor with the toxin saporin (SAP; DC-HIL-SAP) and showed it to bind activated (but not resting) T cells and become internalized by and deplete SD-4(+) T cells. In hapten-sensitized mice, DC-HIL-SAP injected i.v. prior to hapten challenge led to markedly suppressed contact hypersensitivity responses that lasted 3 wk and were restricted to the hapten to which the mice were originally sensitized. Such suppression was not observed when DC-HIL-SAP was applied during sensitization. Moreover, the same infusion of DC-HIL-SAP produced almost complete disappearance of SD-4(+) cells in haptenated skin and a 40% reduction of such cells within draining lymph nodes. Our results provide a strong rationale for exploring use of toxin-conjugated DC-HIL to treat activated T cell-driven disease in humans.

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