Clinical and Experimental Immunology vol:125 issue:2 pages:229-36
Cognate interactions between CD154 (CD40 ligand, CD40L) on activated T cells and its receptor CD40 on various antigen-presenting cells are involved in thymus-dependent humoral immune responses and multiple other cell-mediated immune responses. We have studied the regulation of CD154 expression in human T cells after activation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies or after pharmacological activation of protein kinase C with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, and the calcium ionophore ionomycin. Under these conditions, transcription of the CD154 gene was rapidly induced without requiring de novo protein synthesis. Pharmacological inhibitors of NF-kappaB activation down-regulated CD154 mRNA and protein levels. Cyclosporin A, an inhibitor of NF-AT activation, acted similarly, and the effects of both inhibitors were additive. A potential NF-kappaB binding site is present within the CD154 promoter at positions -1190 to - 1181. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, this sequence was specifically bound by NF-kappaB present in nuclear extracts from activated T cells. Furthermore, in transient co-transfection of Jurkat T cells, p65 activated the transcription of a reporter construct containing a multimer of this NF-kappaB binding site. These observations demonstrate a role of NF-kappaB transcription factors in the regulation of CD40L expression in activated primary human T cells.