CD40 ligand (CD40L) is an essential effector cytokine for macrophage activation, dendritic cell licensing, and T-cell-dependent antibody responses. Although CD40L is known to be made de novo following antigen recognition, several reports have described surface mobilization of preformed, intracellular CD40L in certain CD4+ effector T cells. Here we show that rapid surface expression of preformed CD40L following antigen recognition is a general property of both effector and memory CD4+ T cells, including in vitro and in vivo activated T-cell-receptor transgenic T cells, memory phenotype CD4+ T cells from pathogen-free naive mice, and polyclonal virus-specific effector and memory T cells. Intracellular CD40L is stored in secretory lysosomes, and colocalizes more strongly with Fas ligand than with CTLA-4, two other molecules that are delivered to the cell surface following antigen recognition. Stimulated surface expression of preformed CD40L is found in memory CD4+ T cells from CD40-deficient mice, indicating that it does not depend on CD40-induced internalization for delivery to the secretory compartment. We suggest that delivery of preformed CD40L to antigen-presenting cells (APCs) could enable antigen-specific activation of APCs in transient interactions that are too brief to permit de novo synthesis of CD40L.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology