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Key Event Title
Suppression of T cell activation
|Level of Biological Organization|
Key Event Components
Key Event Overview
AOPs Including This Key Event
|All life stages||High|
Key Event Description
T cells are key orchestrators of the response against pathogens and are also fundamental in maintaining self-tolerance. A number of clinically important conditions have been described in which T-cell functions are altered, as in AIDS or upon immunosuppression after application of various immunosuppressive drugs to treat autoimmune disorders or allogeneic graft rejection. T-cell progenitors differentiate in the thymus into immature T cells that acquire the expression of the T-cell receptor (TCR), which recognizes antigen peptides from pathogens presented along with major histocompatibility complex (MHC). In addition to the TCR, T cells are characterized by expression of the co-receptor molecules CD4 and CD8 on their cell surface. CD4+ T cells, also called T helper (Th) cells, recognize antigen/MHC-II complexes on antigen presenting cells (APCs) and coordinate the activation of other immune cells including B cells, macrophages, etc.
Therefore, CD4+ T cells are crucial for coordination of the immune response and for the elimination of invading pathogens. On the other hand, CD8+ T cells, referred to as T cytotoxic cells, recognize antigen/MHC-I complexes and are responsible for the killing of pathogen-infected cells.
T-cell activation and differentiation depends on antigen presenting cells (APCs) such as dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages and B cells. depending on the insult affecting a given tissue. Different subsets of DCs can be generated that in turn are able to coordinate the differentiation of a particular Th subset. To date, the following Th subsets have been described: Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, Th22, Tfh (follicular helper T cells), Tr1 (type 1regulatory T cells) and Treg (regulatory T cells), each possessing a specific function in the elimination of pathogens. (reviewed by Simeoni et al. (Simeoni et al., 2016))
Although CD4 T cells are able to commit to Th1, Th2 and Th17 lineages in the absence of IL-1R signaling at steady state, these committed CD4 T cells are unable to effectively secrete their cytokines upon TCR ligation. Namely, IL-1 is indispensable for CD4 T cell effector function. (Lin et al, 2015)
Moreover, since full activation of B cells and antibody production and class switch depends on T cell help. The impaired activation of T cells leads to impaired B cell activation and antibody production (reviewed by Mok (Mok, 2010)).
How It Is Measured or Detected
T cell activation can be evaluated by measuring IL-2 production by ELISA or T cell proliferation by incorporation of the analysis of CFSE labeled T cells or [3H]thymidine incorporation.
Domain of Applicability
Lin, D., Lei, L., Zhang, Y., et al., 2015. Secreted IL-1alpha promotes T-cell activation and expansion of CD11b(+) Gr1(+) cells in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in mice. Eur J Immunol 45, 2084-2098.
Mok, M.Y., 2010. The immunological basis of B-cell therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus. Int J Rheum Dis 13, 3-11.
Simeoni, L., Thurm, C., Kritikos, A., et al., 2016. Redox homeostasis, T cells and kidney diseases: three faces in the dark. Clin Kidney J 9, 1-10.