CD154 is a transmembrane cytokine expressed transiently on activated CD4 T cells upon T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation that interacts with CD40 on antigen-presenting cells. The signaling via CD154:CD40 is essential for B-cell maturation and germinal center formation and also for the final differentiation of CD4 T cells during T-dependent humoral immune responses. Recent data demonstrate that CD154 is critically involved in the selection of T-cell clones during the negative selection process in the thymus. Whether CD154 signaling influences the TCR repertoire during peripheral T-dependent humoral immune responses has not yet been elucidated. To find out, we used CD154-deficient mice and assessed the global TCRβ repertoire in T-cell zones (TCZ) of spleens by high-throughput sequencing after induction of a Th2 response to the multiepitopic antigen sheep red blood cells. Qualitative and quantitative comparison of the splenic TCZ-specific TCRβ repertoires revealed that CD154 deficiency shifts the distribution of Vβ-Jβ genes after antigen exposure. This data led to the conclusion that costimulation via CD154:CD40 during the interaction of T cells with CD40-matured B cells contributes to the recruitment of T-cell clones into the immune response and thereby shapes the peripheral TCR repertoire.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)