OX40 (CD134) and OX40 ligand interaction plays an adjuvant role during in vivo Th2 responses

Eur J Immunol. 2003 Sep;33(9):2372-81. doi: 10.1002/eji.200324031.


The role of OX40-OX40 ligand (OX40L) interaction in Th cell differentiation remains contentious. In vitro studies have revealed a Th2-biased effect by OX40 signals in T cells. However, in vivo studies demonstrated that OX40-OX40L interaction is involved in responses either Th1 or Th2, or both, which appears to be dependent on the experimental conditions used. We document in our report Th cell differentiation in OX40L-deficient and OX40L-transgenic (Tg) mice in response to protein antigens (Ag) and to Leishmania major (L. major) infection. Upon immunization with protein Ag, we demonstrate the adjuvant effect of OX40 signals during in vivo Th2 responses. However, adjuvant treatment to mice ameliorates the Th2-specific effect of OX40-OX40L interaction and rather induces concurrent promotion of both Th1 and Th2 responses via OX40 signals. Thus, previous reports showing promotion of Th1 response by OX40-OX40L interaction may in actual fact be affected by the adjuvant effects mediated by the various experimental conditions. Indeed, constitutive OX40-OX40L interactions in OX40L-Tg mice converted the normally resistant C57BL/6 strain, into a susceptible status following L. major infection due to an extraordinary elevated Th2 response. These results provide convincing evidence demonstrating that the OX40-OX40L interaction is paramount in the development of Th2 responses in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • Leishmania major / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • OX40 Ligand
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • OX40 Ligand
  • OX40Ig
  • Tnfsf4 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors