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Developmental Immunology
Volume 6 (1998), Issue 1-2, Pages 53-60

The Influence of Costimulation and Regulatory Cd4+ T Cells on Intestinal Iga Immune Responses

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg S-413 46, Sweden

Received 11 August 1996; Accepted 15 June 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is thought that IgA B-cell differentiation is highly dependent on activated CD4+ T cells. In particular, cell-cell interactions in the Peyer's patches involving CD40 and/or CD80/CD86 have been implicated in germinal-center formation and IgA B-cell development. Also soluble factors, such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, and TGFβ may be critical for IgA B-cell differentiation in vivo. Here we report on some paradoxical findings with regard to IgA B-cell differentiation and specific mucosal immune responses that we have recently made using gene knockout mice. More specifically, we have investigated to what extent absence of CD4+ T cells, relevant cytokines, or T-cell-B-cell interactions would influence IgA B-cell differentiation in vivo. Using CD4– or IL- 4-gene knockout mice or mice made transgenic for CTLA4Ig, we found that, although specific responses were impaired, total IgA production and IgA B-cell differentiation appeared to proceed normally. However, a poor correlation was found between, on the one hand, GC formation and IgA differentiation and, on the other hand, the ability to respond to T-celldependent soluble protein antigens in these mice. Thus, despite the various deficiencies in CD4+ T-cell functions seemingly intact IgA B-cell development was observed.