The α4 nicotinic receptor promotes CD4+ T-cell proliferation and a helper T-cell immune response.

Abstract

Smoking is a common addiction and a leading cause of disease. Chronic nicotine exposure is known to activate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in immune cells. We demonstrate a novel role for α4 nAChRs in the effect of nicotine on T-cell proliferation and immunity. Using cell-based sorting and proteomic analysis we define an α4 nAChR expressing helper T-cell population (α4(+)CD3(+)CD4(+)) and show that this group of cells is responsive to sustained nicotine exposure. In the circulation, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus, we find that nicotine promotes an increase in CD3(+)CD4(+) cells via its activation of the α4 nAChR and regulation of G protein subunit o, G protein regulated-inducer of neurite outgrowth, and CDC42 signaling within T cells. In particular, nicotine is found to promote a helper T cell 2 adaptive immunologic response within T cells that is absent in α4(-/-) mice. We thus present a new mechanism of α4 nAChR signaling and immune regulation in T cells, possibly accounting for the effect of smoking on the immune system.

DOI: 10.1124/mol.113.088484

Cite this paper

@article{Nordman2014TheN, title={The α4 nicotinic receptor promotes CD4+ T-cell proliferation and a helper T-cell immune response.}, author={Jacob C. Nordman and Pretal P. Muldoon and Sarah G Clark and Mohamad Imad Damaj and Nadine Kabbani}, journal={Molecular pharmacology}, year={2014}, volume={85 1}, pages={50-61} }