ABSTRACT: CD137 (4-1BB)-mediated costimulation plays an important role in directing the fate of Ag-stimulated T cells and NK cells, yet the role of CD137 in mediating B cell function is unknown. We found that CD137 is expressed in vitro on anti-Ig-stimulated peripheral blood B cells and in vivo on tonsillar B cells with an activated phenotype. In vitro CD137 expression is enhanced by CD40 stimulation and IFN-gamma and is inhibited by IL-4, -10, and -21. The expression of CD137 on activated human B cells is functionally relevant because engagement with its ligand at the time of activation stimulates B cell proliferation, enhances B cell survival, and induces secretion of TNF-alpha and -beta. Our study suggests that CD137 costimulation may play a role in defining the fate of Ag-stimulated human B cells.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2009; 184(2):787-95. · 5.79 Impact Factor