Redox remodeling by dendritic cells protects antigen-specific T cells against oxidative stress

J Immunol. 2011 Dec 15;187(12):6243-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102138. Epub 2011 Nov 16.


Microorganisms and microbial products induce the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from monocytes and other myeloid cells, which may trigger dysfunction and apoptosis of adjacent lymphocytes. Therefore, T cell-mediated immunity is likely to comprise mechanisms of T cell protection against ROS-inflicted toxicity. The present study aimed to clarify the dynamics of reduced sulfhydryl groups (thiols) in human T cells after presentation of viral and bacterial Ags by dendritic cells (DCs) or B cells. DCs, but not B cells, efficiently triggered intra- and extracellular thiol expression in T cells with corresponding Ag specificity. After interaction with DCs, the Ag-specific T cells acquired the capacity to neutralize exogenous oxygen radicals and resisted ROS-induced apoptosis. Our results imply that DCs provide Ag-specific T cells with antioxidative thiols during Ag presentation, which suggests a novel aspect of DC/T cell cross-talk of relevance to the maintenance of specific immunity in inflamed or infected tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / microbiology
  • Cell Membrane / virology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / microbiology
  • Dendritic Cells / virology
  • Enterotoxins / immunology
  • Enterotoxins / metabolism
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Fluid / immunology
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / immunology*
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / microbiology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / virology


  • Enterotoxins
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • enterotoxin A, Staphylococcal
  • enterotoxin B, staphylococcal