Real T Cells Aren't Cultured

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Science  28 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5539, pp. 2353
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5539.2353c

Much of our understanding of the signaling events initiated when T cells respond to antigen comes from studies of transformed T cell lines in culture. But several recent pieces of evidence indicate that freshly isolated T cells from mice may respond differently.

Zell et al. have used flow cytometry and antibodies to measure responses of naive CD4+ T cells (from lymph nodes or spleens) harvested from animals exposed to antigen. Responses differed from those in cultured cells: (i) The untransformed T cells responded more rapidly and more efficiently; (ii) phosphorylation of c-Jun or the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase did not require activation of the costimulatory receptor CD28; and (iii) the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A did not inhibit phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases. Thus, it appears that the microenvironment in which T cells reside in the animal results in signaling processes substantially different than those observed in cultured cell lines. — LBR

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.98, 10805 (2001).

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