Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

TRAIL-receptor costimulation inhibits proximal TCR signaling and suppresses human T cell activation and proliferation.

PMID 25217163


The TRAIL-receptor/TRAIL system originally described to induce apoptosis preferentially in malignant cells is also known to be involved in T cell homeostasis and the response to viral infections and autoimmune diseases. Whereas the expression of TRAIL on activated NK and T cells increases their cytotoxicity, induction of TRAIL on APCs can turn them into apoptosis inducers but might also change their immunostimulatory capacity. Therefore, we analyzed how TRAIL-receptor (TRAIL-R) costimulation is modulating TCR-mediated activation of human T cells. T cells triggered by rTRAIL in combination with anti-CD3 and -CD28 Abs exhibited a strong decrease in the expression of activation markers and Th1 and Th2 cytokines compared with CD3/CD28-activated T cells. Most importantly, proliferation of TRAIL-R costimulated T cells was strongly impaired, but no apoptosis was induced. Addition of exogenous IL-2 could not rescue T cells silenced by TRAIL-R costimulation, and TRAIL-mediated inhibition of T cell proliferation only prevented TCR-triggered proliferation but was ineffective if T cells were activated downstream of the TCR. Inhibition of T cell proliferation was associated with abrogation of proximal TCR signaling by inhibiting recruitment of TCR-associated signaling molecules to lipid rafts, followed by abrogation of protein tyrosine phosphorylation of ZAP70, phospholipase C-γ1, and protein kinase C-θ, and impaired nuclear translocation of NFAT, AP-1, and NF-κB. Most importantly, TRAIL-R costimulation efficiently inhibited alloantigen-induced T cell proliferation and CD3/28-induced activation and proliferation of autoreactive T cells derived from patients with Omenn syndrome, indicating that coactivation of TRAIL-R and TCR represents a mechanism to downmodulate T cell immune responses.