Differential induction of cytokine genes and activation of mitogen- activated protein kinase family by soluble CD40 ligand and TNF in a human follicular dendritic cell line

Sun Mi Park, Han Soo Kim, Jongseon Choe, Tae H. Lee

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Follicular dendritic cells (FDC)3 play crucial roles in germinal center (GC) formation and differentiation of GC B cells. Many aspects of FDC function are influenced by contact with B or T cells, and by cytokines produced in the GC, which involve stimulation of CD40 and TNF-α receptors on FDC. In this study, using an established FDC line, HK cells, we compared the effects of CD40 and TNF receptor triggering on cytokine induction and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase family. We show that HK cells spontaneously produced IL-6, M-CSF, and G-CSF mRNA. Both the soluble form of CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and TNF increased the level of M-CSF and G-CSF mRNA. While TNF strongly induced IL-6 mRNA, its expression was not affected by sCD40L treatment, differing from the strong IL-6 induction in other cell types upon CD40 stimulation. In addition, sCD40L treatment resulted in activation of extracellular signal-related kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and p38 without significant increase in c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity. Lack of JNK activation differs in that most B cells respond to CD40 stimulation by inducing JNK activity strongly, suggesting distinct characteristics of CD40 signaling in FDC. Compared with the effects of sCD40L, TNF was capable of inducing JNK activity in addition to the activation of ERK1/2 and p38. Furthermore, the proximal signaling elements activated by TNF differed from those activated by sCD40L, in that TNT did not require PMA-sensitive protein kinase C isoforms in the activation of ERK and p38, whereas sCD40L did. However, signals activated by these stimuli converged on cytokine gene expression in a synergistic manner, which may have implication in augmenting FDC function during GC reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-638
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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