Lack of coreceptor allows survival of chronically stimulated double-negative α/β T cells: Implications for autoimmunity

Abdel Rahim A. Hamad, Ananth Srikrishnan, Paria Mirmonsef, Chris P.M. Broeren, Carl H. June, Drew Pardoll, Jonathan P. Schneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Lymphoproliferative diseases are characterized by massive accumulation of CD4-CD8-B220+ (double-negative [DN]) T cells in peripheral organs. Although evidence indicates these cells are derived from mature autoreactive α/β T cells, the significance of coreceptor downregulation is not known. In this study, we examined the role CD4 coreceptor plays in the survival of repeatedly stimulated T cells. CD4+/+ and CD4-/- T cells from AND T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice exhibited similar phenotypes after antigenic stimulation, but the CD4-/- T cells survived in much larger numbers than the CD4+/+ cells upon primary and secondary major histocompatibility complex (MHC)/peptide stimulation. Enhanced survival of CD4-/- T cells was due to decreased apoptosis rather than enhanced proliferation. Similarly, circumvention of the CD4/MHC interaction by using a surrogate TCR ligand that does not engage CD4 led to significant enhancement of CD4+/+ cells than when stimulated with MHC/peptide. Finally, we generated DN B220+ T cells using an in vitro model system and showed they were more tolerant to chronic stimulation than CD4+/+ cells. Together, these results indicate that coreceptor engagement controls expansion of normal T cells. In the absence of coreceptor, T cells survive chronic stimulation and express B220 as seen in autoimmune lymphoproliferative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 21 2001


  • Apoptosis
  • B220
  • CD4 coreceptor
  • Double-negative T cell
  • Lymphoproliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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