Stress-activated dendritic cells interact with CD4(+) T cells to elicit homeostatic memory

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence is presented that thermal or oxidizing stress-activated DC interact with CD4(+) T cells to induce and maintain a TCR-independent homeostatic memory circuit. Stress-activated DC expressed endogenous intra-cellular and cell surface HSP70. The NF-kappa B signalling pathway was activated and led to the expression of membrane-associated IL-15 molecules. These interacted with the IL-15 receptor complex on CD4+ T cells, thus activating the Jak3 and STAT5 phosphorylation signalling pathway to induce CD40 ligand expression, T-cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production. CD40 ligand on CD4(+) T cells in turn re-activated CD40 molecules on DC, inducing DC maturation and IL-15 expression thereby maintaining the feedback circuit. The proliferating CD4(+) T cells were characterized as CD45RA(-) CD62L(+) central memory cells, which underwent homeostatic proliferation. The circuit is independent of antigen and MHC-class-II-TCR interaction as demonstrated by resistance to TCR inhibition by ZAP70 inhibitor or MHC-class II antibodies. These findings suggest that stress can activate a DC-CD4(+) T-cell interacting circuit, which may be responsible for maintaining a homeostatic antigen-independent memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628 - 1638
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Early online date9 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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