CD28/B7 Interactions Deliver a Unique Signal to Naive T Cells That Regulates Cell Survival but Not Early Proliferation

Anne I. Sperling, Julie A. Auger, Benjamin D. Ehst, Ingrid C. Rulifson, Craig B. Thompson, Jeffrey A. Bluestone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


CD28/B7 ligation provides costimulatory signals important for the development of T cell responses. In the present study, we examined whether CD28/B7 interactions have a specialized role in the regulation of cell cycle progression and sustained T cell proliferative responses in naive T cell populations using TCR transgenic mice. CD28-mediated signaling was shown to be uniquely capable of regulating cell survival compared with TCR-mediated signaling. Increasing the strength of the TCR-mediated signal 1 increased early proliferative responses, but had no effect on sustained cell survival. In contrast, CD28 ligation, signal 2, was not required for early proliferative responses, but dramatically influenced long term T cell survival. The increased cell survival after CD28 ligation was not due to increased IL-2 production, but was linked to up-regulation of Bcl-xL. The Bcl-xL protein could not be induced following increased TCR cross-linking in the absence of CD28 signaling. In addition, survival of T cells from Bcl-xL transgenic mice was not inhibited by blocking CD28 ligation, suggesting that CD28-induced T cell survival is regulated by Bcl-xL expression. Together, these results suggest that the unique role of CD28 signaling is not to costimulate the initial activation of naive T cells, but is, in fact, to sustain the late proliferative response and enhance long term cell survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3909-3917
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'CD28/B7 Interactions Deliver a Unique Signal to Naive T Cells That Regulates Cell Survival but Not Early Proliferation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this