The inducible costimulator plays the major costimulatory role in humoral immune responses in the absence of CD28

Woong-Kyung Suh, Anna Tafuri, Nancy N Berg-Brown, Arda Shahinian, Suzanne Plyte, Gordon S Duncan, Hitoshi Okada, Andrew Wakeham, Bernhard Odermatt, Pamela S Ohashi, Tak W Mak
Journal of Immunology 2004 May 15, 172 (10): 5917-23
CD28 plays crucial costimulatory roles in T cell proliferation, cytokine production, and germinal center response. Mice that are deficient in the inducible costimulator (ICOS) also have defects in cytokine production and germinal center response. Because the full induction of ICOS in activated T cells depends on CD28 signal, the T cell costimulatory capacity of ICOS in the absence of CD28 has remained unclear. We have clarified this issue by comparing humoral immune responses in wild-type, CD28 knockout (CD28 KO), and CD28-ICOS double-knockout (DKO) mice. DKO mice had profound defects in Ab responses against environmental Ags, T-dependent protein Ags, and vesicular stomatitis virus that extended far beyond those observed in CD28 KO mice. However, DKO mice mounted normal Ab responses against a T-independent Ag, indicating that B cell function itself was normal. Restimulated CD4(+) DKO T cells that had been primed in vivo showed decreased proliferation and reduced IL-4 and IL-10 production compared with restimulated CD4(+) T cells from CD28 KO mice. Thus, in the absence of CD28, ICOS assumes the major T cell costimulatory role for humoral immune responses. Importantly, CD28-mediated ICOS up-regulation is not essential for ICOS function in vivo.

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