CD4 T cell cytokine differentiation: the B cell activation molecule, OX40 ligand, instructs CD4 T cells to express interleukin 4 and upregulates expression of the chemokine receptor, Blr-1

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This report investigates the role of OX40 ligand (OX40L) and its receptor, OX40, expressed on activated B and T cells, respectively, in promoting the differentiation of T helper type 2 (Th2) CD4 T cells. These molecules are expressed in vivo by day 2 after priming with T cell- dependent antigens. Their expression coincides with the appearance of immunoglobulin (Ig)G switch transcripts and mRNA for interleukin (IL)-4 and interferon (IFN)-gamma, suggesting that this molecular interaction plays a role in early cognate interactions between B and T cells. In vitro, we report that costimulation of naive, CD62Lhigh CD4 T cells through OX40 promotes IL-4 expression and upregulates mRNA for the chemokine receptor, blr-1, whose ligand is expressed in B follicles and attracts lymphocytes to this location. Furthermore, T cell stimulation through OX40 inhibits IFN-gamma expression in both CD8 T cells and IL-12-stimulated CD4 T cells. Although this signal initiates IL-4 expression, IL-4 itself is strongly synergistic. Our data suggest that OX40L on antigen-activated B cells instructs naive T cells to differentiate into Th2 cells and migrate into B follicles, where T cell-dependent germinal centers develop.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 1998


  • Animals, Membrane Glycoproteins, Cell Differentiation, Mice, Tumor Necrosis Factors, Th2 Cells, B-Lymphocytes, Lymphocyte Cooperation, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Receptors, Chemokine, Lymphocyte Activation, Interleukin-4, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Th1 Cells