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

Human vascular endothelial cells stimulate memory but not naive CD8+ T cells to differentiate into CTL retaining an early activation phenotype.

Endothelial cell (EC)-selective alloreactive CTL may mediate alloimmune vascular injury. In the present study, EC-selective CTL were generated in cocultures of purified human CD8+ T cells with allogeneic EC and were compared with conventional CTL against corresponding B lymphoblastoid cells ( BLC). EC caused activation and expansion of memory but not naive CD8+ T cells, which differentiated into EC-selective CTL that retained high surface expression of CD69, CD25, and CD62L and displayed low intracellular perforin content. In contrast, BLC-stimulated CTL could be generated from naive or memory CD8+ T cells and showed a more mature phenotype (low CD69, CD25, and CD62L with higher levels of perforin). The expansion of alloreactive T cells by EC stimulation was 5- to 20-fold less effective than in corresponding BLC-stimulated cultures, accounting for a reduction in the assayable cytotoxicity of individual microcultures. In these IL-2-supplemented cocultures, no effect on CTL generation or phenotype was observed by mAb blocking of costimulation provided by LFA-3, ICAM-1, or CD40, by addition of comitogenic anti-CD28 mAb, or by preactivation of EC with CD40 ligand. Cyclosporine inhibited CTL expansion and cytotoxicity similarly in both EC- and BLC-stimulated cultures but did not affect the phenotype of those CTL that did emerge. This study extends the characterization of endothelium as an immunoregulatory cell type distinct from conventional APC and may explain why graft rejection within the arterial intima, an anatomic compartment in which EC may be the primary type of APC, is separable from rejection in the graft parenchyma.[1]


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