The co-stimulatory B7 molecules (B7-1 and B7-2) are expressed on professional antigen-presenting cells in mice. In this study, we demonstrate that B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86) are also expressed on murine T cells in the absence of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules. The temporal expression of these two molecules on T cells varies with the state of activation where resting T cells express B7-2 but show little or no expression of B7-1. Following activation, B7-2 expression is down-regulated and there is a concomitant increase in the expression of B7-1 on the cell surface which peaks at about 72 h. Thus these two co-stimulatory molecules are reciprocally expressed on the T cell surface. This pattern of expression of B7-1 and B7-2 on T cells suggests that these two molecules may have different roles in the generation and regulation of immune responses.
The use of transgenic technologies in the functional evaluation of the contributions of costimulatory pathways to T-cell activation in vivo has recently undergone a rapid expansion. During the past two years, mice deficient in costimulatory molecules and their receptors have been generated. These mice have revealed novel and critical in vivo functions of costimulatory pathways and have provided valuable models in which to test therapeutic strategies involving costimulatory pathway blockade. Transgenic mice constitutively expressing costimulatory molecules have provided insights into their role in peripheral tolerance.
Biochemical studies of signaling mediated by many cytokine and growth factor receptors have implicated members of the Jak family of tyrosine kinases in these pathways. Specifically, Jak3 has been shown to be associated with the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor gamma chain, a component of the receptors for IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, and IL-15. Mice lacking Jak3 showed a severe block in B cell development at the pre-B stage in the bone marrow. In contrast, although the thymuses of these mice were small, T cell maturation progressed relatively normally. In response to mitogenic signals, peripheral T cells in Jak3-deficient mice did not proliferate and secreted small amounts of IL-2. These data demonstrate that Jak3 is critical for the progression of B cell development in the bone marrow and for the functional competence of mature T cells.
The murine B7-2 (mB7-2) costimulatory molecule is expressed on APCs early during the course of an immune response, suggesting that it may play a pivotal role in the decision between T cell activation and anergy. Murine B7-2 mRNA displays a restricted pattern of expression; it is inducible in B cells, T cells, NK cells, and dendritic cells, but constitutively expressed in unstimulated monocytes. The constitutive and inducible expression of mB7-2 on distinct cell types indicates that mB7-2 is regulated differentially. To further characterize mB7-2 transcripts, we employed 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends and reverse transcriptase-PCR to examine transcripts expressed in a variety of types of APCs and analyzed the genomic organization of the mB7-2 gene. We report here that the mB7-2 locus consists of 12 exons and demonstrate that exons 1 through 5 can be used in alternative fashions to produce five distinct transcripts, differing in their 5' untranslated and signal regions. The expression of these transcripts differs in distinct types of APCs and is modulated by stimuli that activate B cells. These results demonstrate that mB7-2 transcripts are differentially regulated in a tissue-specific fashion and in response to activation stimuli.
The generation of an antigen-specific T-cell response requires that the T lymphocyte receive two signals from the antigen presenting cell. The specificity of this response is provided by antigen presented to the T lymphocyte and involves stimulation of the T lymphocyte via the T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex. The second, or costimulatory signal, can be provided by ligation of the B-lymphocyte activation antigens B7-1 (CD80) and B7.2 (CD86) to TCR antigen CD28. The cDNAs for both CD80 and CD86 have been isolated and are predicted to encode type 1 membrane proteins of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily. The predicted protein is composed of a signal peptide followed by two Ig-like extracellular domains, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic tail. Here we report that the genomic organization of CD86 reflects its functional structure, and is similar to that found for CD80. The gene is composed of eight exons which span more than 22 kilobases. The predicted protein functional domains of signal peptide, extracellular IgV- and IgC-like regions, and transmembrane domain coincide with the genomic structure. Two independent sequences had been reported for CD86 cDNA which differed in their 5'untranslated (UT) regions. We find CD86 exons 1 and 2 correspond to these alternate 5'UT sequences. Splicing of exon 1 or 2 with the signal peptide encoding exon 3 would produce mRNA transcripts complementary to the reported cDNA clones. Exons 4 and 5 correspond to IgV- and IgC-like extracellular domains, respectively. Exon 6 encodes the transmembrane region and beginning of the cytoplasmic tail. Exons 7 and 8 encode the remainder of the cytoplasmic tail and 3'UT sequences.
Gelsolin, an 82 kDa actin-binding protein, has potent actin filament-severing activity in vitro. To investigate the in vivo function of gelsolin, transgenic gelsolin-null (Gsn-) mice were generated and found to have normal embryonic development and longevity. However, platelet shape changes are decreased in Gsn- mice, causing prolonged bleeding times. Neutrophil migration in vivo into peritoneal exudates and in vitro is delayed. Gsn- dermal fibroblasts have excessive actin stress fibers and migrate more slowly than wild-type fibroblasts, but have increased contractility in vitro. These observations establish the requirement of gelsolin for rapid motile responses in cell types involved in stress responses such as hemostasis, inflammation, and wound healing. Neither gelsolin nor other proteins with similar actin filament-severing activity are expressed in early embryonic cells, indicating that this mechanism of actin filament dynamics is not essential for motility during early embryogenesis.
Globin genes are regulated in a tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific manner, with the beta-globin gene being the last to be activated in the beta-gene cluster. CACCC-nucleotide sequences, which bind multiple nuclear proteins, including ubiquitously expressed Sp1 and erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF), are among the cis-regulatory sequences critical for transcription of globin and non-globin erythroid-expressed genes. To determine the function of EKLF in vivo, we created mice deficient in EKLF by gene targeting. These embryos die of anaemia during fetal liver erythropoiesis and show the molecular and haematological features of beta-globin deficiency, found in beta-thalassaemia. Although it is expressed at all stages, EKLF is not required for yolk sac erythropoiesis, erythroid commitment or expression of other potential target genes. Its stage-specific and beta-globin-gene-specific requirement suggests that EKLF may facilitate completion of the fetal-to-adult (haemoglobin gamma to beta) switch in humans.
The B7-CD28/CTLA-4 costimulatory pathway can provide a signal pivotal for T cell activation. Signaling through this pathway is complex due to the presence of two B7 family members, B7-1 and B7-2, and two counterreceptors, CD28 and CTLA-4. Studies with anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies have suggested both positive and negative roles for CTLA-4 in T cell activation. To elucidate the in vivo function of CTLA-4, we generated CTLA-4-deficient mice. These mice rapidly develop lymphoproliferative disease with multiorgan lymphocytic infiltration and tissue destruction, with particularly severe myocarditis and pancreatitis, and die by 3-4 weeks of age. The phenotype of the CTLA-4-deficient mouse strain is supported by studies that have suggested a negative role for CTLA-4 in T cell activation. The severe phenotype of mice lacking CTLA-4 implies a critical role for CTLA-4 in down-regulating T cell activation and maintaining immunologic homeostasis. In the absence of CTLA-4, peripheral T cells are activated, can spontaneously proliferate, and may mediate lethal tissue injury.