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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) regulates primary and secondary peptide-specific CD4(+) T cell responses.

CTLA-4-deficient mice develop a fatal lymphoproliferative disorder, characterized by polyclonal expansion of peripheral lymphocytes. To examine the effect of restricting the CD4(+) TCR repertoire on the phenotype of CTLA-4-deficient mice and to assess the influence of CTLA-4 on peptide-specific CD4(+) T cell responses in vitro, an MHC class II-restricted T cell receptor (AND TCR) transgene was introduced into the CTLA-4(-/-) animals. The expression of the AND TCR transgene by CD4(+) T cells delays but does not prevent the lymphoproliferation in the CTLA-4(-/-) mice. The CD4(+) T cells become preferentially activated and expand. Interestingly, young AND TCR(+) CTLA-4(-/-) mice carrying a null mutation in the rag-1 gene remain healthy and the T cells maintain a naive phenotype until later in life. We demonstrate that CTLA-4 regulates the peptide-specific proliferative response generated by naive and previously activated AND TCR(+) RAG(-/-) T cells in vitro. The absence of CTLA-4 also augments the responder frequency of cytokine-secreting AND TCR(+) RAG(-/-) T cells. These results demonstrate that CTLA-4 is a key regulator of peptide-specific CD4(+) T cell responses and support the model that CTLA-4 plays a differential role in maintaining T cell homeostasis of CD4(+) vs. CD8(+) T cells.[1]


  1. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) regulates primary and secondary peptide-specific CD4(+) T cell responses. Chambers, C.A., Kuhns, M.S., Allison, J.P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
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