Published in

Elsevier, Immunology Letters, 2(136), p. 177-186, 2011

DOI: 10.1016/j.imlet.2011.01.008



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Function of CD27 in helper T cell differentiation

This paper is available in a repository.
This paper is available in a repository.

Full text: Download

Green circle
Preprint: archiving allowed
Orange circle
Postprint: archiving restricted
Red circle
Published version: archiving forbidden
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Differentiation of naïve CD4(+) T cells to functional effector T-helper (T(H)) cells is driven by both costimulatory molecules and cytokines. Although polarizing cytokines can induce the differentiation into a particular T(H)-subset, certain costimulatory molecules also seem to affect this polarization process. We have previously found that CD70-transgenic (CD70TG) mice develop large numbers of IFN-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells and we therefore questioned whether CD27 triggering provides an instructive signal for T(H)1 differentiation or rather supports T(H) cell formation in general. Although CD70TG mice on a T(H)1-prone C57Bl/6J background develop more T(H)1 cells, we found that this phenotype is lost when CD70TG mice are fully backcrossed on a T(H)2-prone Balb/c background, but is not replaced with more T(H)2 cells. Furthermore, CD70-overexpression is not sufficient to drive T(H)17 cell formation, nor does it affect the generation of FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells. Using an in vitro setting, we found that CD27-triggering does not provide instructive signals for a specific T(H) cell subset, but, depending on the cytokine milieu and genetic background, supports T(H)1 cell formation, while it inhibits the formation of T(H)17 but not T(H)2 cells. Induction of allergic airway inflammation in CD70TG Balb/c mice further illustrates that CD27 plays a supportive role in T(H)1 differentiation in vivo, without modulating the classical T(H)2 response. This supportive role of CD27 in T(H) cell polarization could not be attributed to a specific change of transcription factor expression levels. In summary, this study indicates that CD27 signalling does influence T(H) cell differentiation, but that it is highly dependent on the conditions and genetic background.