Surface expression of TRAIL/Apo-2 ligand in activated mouse T and B cells

Eur J Immunol. 1998 May;28(5):1492-8. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199805)28:05<1492::AID-IMMU1492>3.0.CO;2-X.


Like other members of the TNF family, TRAIL/Apo-2 ligand induces apoptosis in sensitive target cells in a caspase-dependent fashion. We recently found that TRAIL may be constitutively expressed on the surface of mouse and human tumor cells of T and B origin. To define the pattern of TRAIL expression in normal immune cells, freshly isolated splenocytes, Concanavalin A/IL-2-activated T cells and lipopolysaccharide-activated B cells were analyzed by surface staining with or without secondary stimulation. Activated, but not resting, CD3+ cells expressed TRAIL in an activation-dependent fashion. Conversely, freshly isolated B220+ cells displayed surface TRAIL and CD95L that were retained following activation. Restimulation with the protein kinase C activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and the calcium ionophore ionomycin or an agonistic anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody induced significant up-regulation of surface TRAIL and CD95L in CD3+, TCRalphabeta cells with CD4+ or CD8+ phenotype. Similarly to CD95L, TRAIL up-regulation was protein synthesis dependent and cyclosporin A sensitive. These results indicate that both TRAIL and CD95L are displayed on the cell surface of activated immune cells and may thus represent complementary effector pathways in the regulatory functions of T and B cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / analysis
  • Ligands
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred MRL lpr
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis
  • Spleen / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Up-Regulation / immunology
  • fas Receptor / biosynthesis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • CD3 Complex
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Tnfsf10 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • fas Receptor
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens