The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-017-1261-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
CD4+CD28− T cells exhibit autoreactive potential in autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is not well known which costimulator functions as an alternative second signal in the activation of this subset after CD28 expression is downregulated. Tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member OX40 is a key costimulator in the activation of T cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the costimulatory effects of OX40 on CD4+CD28− T cells in autoimmune arthritis.
Clinical samples were collected from patients with RA and control subjects. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was induced with collagen type II (CII) in DBA/1 mice. The CD4+CD28−OX40+ T-cell subset and its cytokine production were detected by flow cytometry. After T-cell purification, adoptive transfer was performed in CIA mice. The regulatory role of OX40 was determined by blocking experiments in vitro and in vivo.
OX40 and OX40L were abnormally expressed in patients with RA and CIA mice. Further analysis showed that CD4+CD28−OX40+ T cells accumulated in patients with RA and in animal models. These cells produced higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines and were closely correlated with the clinicopathological features of the affected individuals. Adoptive transfer of CII-specific CD4+CD28−OX40+ T cells remarkably aggravated arthritic development and joint pathology in CIA mice. Moreover, OX40 blockade significantly reduced the proinflammatory responses and ameliorated arthritis development.
OX40 acts as an alternative costimulator of CD4+CD28− T cells and plays a pathogenic role in autoimmune arthritic development, suggesting that it is a potential target for immunomodulatory therapy of RA.
Additional file 1: Supplementary figures and tables. (DOC 614 kb)13075_2017_1261_MOESM1_ESM.doc
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- OX40 signaling is involved in the autoactivation of CD4+CD28− T cells and contributes to the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis
- BioMed Central
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