CD4 T cell activation is positively (CD28) and negatively (CTLA-4) regulated by the costimulatory ligands CD80 and CD86. A central question is how the balance between these two opposing forces is controlled as T cells differentiate. We have previously shown that CD28 signaling is absolutely required to prime naive CD4 T cells to differentiate into effectors that provide help for germinal centers and class-switched Ab responses. In this study, we show that the requirement for CD28 signaling is transient and effector CD4 T cells do not require CD28 signals to sustain their function. The CD28 independence of effector T cells within germinal centers suggested that a key function for CD80/CD86 under these circumstances might be to provide negative regulatory signals via the CD28 homologue CTLA-4. By examining germinal center responses in mice where the ability to signal through T cell CTLA-4 was compromised, we provide data that supports a critical role for CTLA-4 in down-regulating T cell help for germinal center B cells.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2003|