The 4-1BB (a TNFR superfamily member) is an inducible costimulatory molecule that can exert regulatory effects on T cells independently of CD28 stimulation. The in vitro expression of 4-1BB (CD137) is induced following activation of T cells with various stimuli, including anti-TCR mAbs, lectins, and a combination of PMA and ionomycin. To delineate further the physiological role of 4-1BB in immunity, mice deficient in this receptor were generated. These mutant mice developed normally, and were viable and fertile. Humoral responses to vesicular stomatitis virus were comparable with those seen in wild-type mice, whereas the IgG2a and IgG3 isotype responses to keyhole limpet hemocyanin were somewhat reduced in the mutant mice. The 4-1BB-deficient mice demonstrated enhanced T cell proliferation in response to mitogens or anti-CD3 even in the environment of reduced ability to secrete growth-supporting cytokines (IL-2 and IL-4). Although T cells from 4-1BB-deficient mice showed enhanced proliferation, the T cell immune responses of these animals, such as cytokine production and CTL activity, were diminished. In addition, 4-1BB deletion appears to play a role in the regulation of myeloid progenitor cell growth, leading to an increase in these precursor cells in peripheral blood, bone marrow, and spleen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy