Secretion of IFN-gamma, IL-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and IL-10 cytokines after activation of human purified T lymphocytes upon CD38 ligation

Cell Immunol. 1996 Nov 1;173(2):192-7. doi: 10.1006/cimm.1996.0267.


Human CD38, a surface glycoprotein expressed by different immunocompetent cells, is associated with distinct transmembrane signaling molecules and plays a key role in the synthesis of cyclic ADP-ribose, a calcium-mobilizing compound. This study reports that CD38 ligation by specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) in purified peripheral blood T cells is followed by secretion of discrete cytokines. IL-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IFN-gamma, and IL-10 mRNA expression were constant findings. Low levels of IL-2 mRNA were also detected in CD38-activated T lymphocyte cultures of all subjects studied. Low levels of IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA were detected in the majority of CD38-activated T cultures. Moreover, CD38 mediated cytokine induction does not require T cell proliferation or the addition of antigen presenting cells. In conclusion, human CD38 runs an activation pathway in purified T cells which operates through the induction of a cytokine profile shared by Th1 or Th2 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • CD38 protein, human
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1