The control of lymphoid homeostasis is the result of a very fine balance between lymphocyte production, proliferation, and apoptosis. In this study, we focused on the role of T cells in the maintenance/survival of the mature naive peripheral B cell population. We show that naive B and T cells interact via the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family receptor, SLAMF6. This interaction induces cell type-specific signals in both cell types, mediated by the SLAM-associated protein (SAP) family of adaptors. This signaling results in an upregulation of the expression of the cytokine migration inhibitory factor in the T cells and augmented expression of its receptor CD74 on the B cell counterparts, consequently enhancing B cell survival. Furthermore, in X-linked lymphoproliferative disease patients, SAP deficiency reduces CD74 expression, resulting in the perturbation of B cell maintenance from the naive stage. Thus, naive T cells regulate B cell survival in a SLAMF6- and SAP-dependent manner.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.