Human CD81 directly enhances Th1 and Th2 cell activation, but preferentially induces proliferation of Th2 cells upon long-term stimulation

Abstract

CD81, a cell-surface protein of the tetraspanin superfamily, has been shown to costimulate T cell activation in murine T cells, and is involved in development of Th2 immune responses in mice. Here it is shown that stimulation of CD81 on human T cells can enhance T cell activation by antigen or superantigen, causing an increase in the early activation marker CD69, and increasing the number of cytokine-producing and proliferating T cells. Interestingly, CD81 costimulates cytokine production by T cells producing both Th1 and Th2 cytokines. Although human CD81 is highly expressed on non-T as well as T cells, CD81 costimulation appears to act directly on T cells. Pre-incubation of purified T cells with anti-CD81 antibody is sufficient to increase T cell activation, while pre-incubation of non-T cells is not. However, long-term polyclonal stimulation of T cells by anti-CD3 antibody, in the presence of CD81 costimulation, biases T cells towards the production of IL-4 and not IFNγ. This is accomplished by a preferential proliferation of IL-4-producing cells. Thus, signalling through CD81 on T cells costimulates both Th1 and Th2 cells, but increases the number of Th2 cells during long-term activation.

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2172-4-1

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@article{Maecker2002HumanCD, title={Human CD81 directly enhances Th1 and Th2 cell activation, but preferentially induces proliferation of Th2 cells upon long-term stimulation}, author={Holden T. Maecker}, journal={BMC Immunology}, year={2002}, volume={4}, pages={1 - 1} }