CD134 Plus CD137 Dual Costimulation Induces Eomesodermin in CD4 T Cells to Program Cytotoxic Th1 Differentiation

Date of Completion

January 2012


Health Sciences, Immunology




Cytotoxic CD4 Th1 cells are emerging as a therapeutically useful T cell lineage that can effectively target tumors, but until now the pathways that govern their differentiation have been poorly understood. We demonstrate that CD134 (OX40) costimulation programs naive self- and virus-reactive CD4 T cells to undergo in vivo differentiation into cytotoxic Th1 effectors. CD137 (4-1BB) costimulation maximized clonal expansion and IL-2 was necessary for cytotoxic Th1 differentiation. Importantly, the T-box transcription factor Eomesodermin (Eomes) was critical for inducing the cytotoxic marker granzyme B. CD134 plus CD137 dual costimulation also imprinted a cytotoxic phenotype on bystanding CD4 T cells. Thus, the present study identifies for the first time a specific costimulatory pathway and an intracellular mechanism relying on Eomes that induces both antigen-specific and bystander cytotoxic CD4 Th1 cells. This mechanism might be therapeutically useful since CD134 plus CD137 dual costimulation induced CD4 T cell-dependent tumoricidal function in a mouse melanoma model. ^