CD27 costimulation contributes substantially to the expansion of functional memory CD8(+) T cells after peptide immunization

Eur J Immunol. 2013 Dec;43(12):3314-23. doi: 10.1002/eji.201343579. Epub 2013 Oct 1.


Naive T cells require signals from multiple costimulatory receptors to acquire full effector function and differentiate to long-lived memory cells. The costimulatory receptor, CD27, is essential for optimal T-cell priming and memory differentiation in a variety of settings, although whether CD27 is similarly required during memory CD8(+) T-cell reactivation remains controversial. We have used OVA and anti-CD40 to establish a memory CD8(+) T-cell population and report here that their secondary expansion, driven by peptide and anti-CD40, polyI:C, or LPS, requires CD27. Furthermore, antigenic peptide and a soluble form of the CD27 ligand, CD70 (soluble recombinant CD70 (sCD70)), is sufficient for secondary memory CD8(+) T-cell accumulation at multiple anatomical sites, dependent on CD80/86. Prior to boost, resting effector- and central-memory CD8(+) T cells both expressed CD27 with greater expression on central memory cells. Nonetheless, both populations upregulated CD27 after TCR engagement and accumulated in proportion after boosting with Ag and sCD70. Mechanistically, sCD70 increased the frequency of divided and cytolytic memory T cells, conferred resistance to apoptosis and enabled retardation of tumor growth in vivo. These data demonstrate the central role played by CD27/70 during secondary CD8(+) T-cell activation to a peptide Ag, and identify sCD70 as an immunotherapeutic adjuvant for antitumor immunity.

Keywords: CD27; CD70; Memory; T cell; TLR; TNFRSF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • CD27 Ligand / immunology
  • CD27 Ligand / pharmacology
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory / physiology*
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Interferon Inducers / pharmacokinetics
  • Interferon Inducers / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Poly I-C / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • CD27 Ligand
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Interferon Inducers
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7
  • Poly I-C