A critical role for OX40 in T cell-mediated immunopathology during lung viral infection.

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom.
Journal of Experimental Medicine (Impact Factor: 13.21). 10/2003; 198(8):1237-42. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20030351
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Respiratory infections are the third leading cause of death worldwide. Illness is caused by pathogen replication and disruption of airway homeostasis by excessive expansion of cell numbers. One strategy to prevent lung immune-mediated damage involves reducing the cellular burden. To date, antiinflammatory strategies have affected both antigen-specific and naive immune repertoires. Here we report a novel form of immune intervention that specifically targets recently activated T cells alone. OX40 (CD134) is absent on naive T cells but up-regulated 1-2 d after antigen activation. OX40-immunoglobulin fusion proteins block the interaction of OX40 with its ligand on antigen-presenting cells and eliminate weight loss and cachexia without preventing virus clearance. Reduced proliferation and enhanced apoptosis of lung cells accompanied the improved clinical phenotype. Manipulation of this late costimulatory pathway has clear therapeutic potential for the treatment of dysregulated lung immune responses.

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    ABSTRACT: T cell costimulation is a key component of adaptive immunity to viral infection but has also been associated with pathology because of excessive or altered T cell activity. We recently demonstrated that the TNFR family costimulatory molecule OX40 (CD134) is critically required to sustain antiviral T cell and Ab responses that enable control of viral replication in the context of chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. In this study, we investigated whether reinforcing OX40 stimulation through an agonist Ab had the potential to prevent LCMV persistence. We observed that anti-OX40 injection early after LCMV clone 13 infection increased CD8 T cell-mediated immunopathology. More strikingly, OX40 stimulation of virus-specific CD4 T cells promoted expression of the transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 and diverted the majority of cells away from follicular Th cell differentiation. This occurred in both acute and chronic infections, and resulted in dramatic reductions in germinal center and Ab responses to the viral infection. The effect of the OX40 agonist was dependent on IL-2 signaling and the timing of OX40 stimulation. Collectively, our data demonstrate that excessive OX40 signaling can result in deleterious consequences in the setting of LCMV infection.
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