Activation-induced cell death in human T cells is a suicidal process regulated by cell density but superantigen induces T cell fratricide.


Gorak-Stolinska, P; Kemeny, DM; Noble, A; (2002) Activation-induced cell death in human T cells is a suicidal process regulated by cell density but superantigen induces T cell fratricide. Cellular immunology, 219 (2). pp. 98-107. ISSN 0008-8749 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-8749(02)00598-1

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Abstract

Repeated ligation of the TCR results in apoptosis (activation-induced cell death; AICD). Superantigens such as Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are particularly efficient at inducing AICD in T cells. We investigated whether apoptosis in human T cell subsets was due to fratricide (killing of neighboring cells) or suicide (cell autonomous death). AICD of Th1, Th2, Tc1, and Tc2 effector cells was dramatically enhanced at low cell densities and could be observed in single cell microcultures. AICD was unaffected by adhesion molecules or neighboring cells undergoing AICD, confirming the predominance of a suicidal mechanism. However, SEB was able to induce fratricidal apoptosis of type 1, but not type 2 cells. Fratricide was also observed when unstimulated T cells were exposed to activated Tc1 effector cells. Thus, AICD is tightly regulated to allow clonal T cell expansion and memory cell generation, but superantigens may subvert this process by allowing T cell fratricide.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
PubMed ID: 12576028
Web of Science ID: 181306500004
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/11585

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