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CD44 Regulates Survival and Memory Development in Th1 Cells

By Bas J.G. Baaten, Cheng-Rui Li, Mia F. Deiro, Melissa M. Lin, Phyllis J. Linton and Linda M. Bradley


SummaryOptimal immunity to microorganisms depends upon the regulated death of clonally expanded effector cells and the survival of a cohort of cells that become memory cells. After activation of naive T cells, CD44, a widely expressed receptor for extracellular matrix components, is upregulated. High expression of CD44 remains on memory cells and despite its wide usage as a “memory marker,” its function is unknown. Here we report that CD44 was essential for the generation of memory T helper 1 (Th1) cells by promoting effector cell survival. This dependency was not found in Th2, Th17, or CD8+ T cells despite similar expression of CD44 and the absence of splice variants in all subsets. CD44 limited Fas-mediated death in Th1 cells and its ligation engaged the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt kinase signaling pathway that regulates cell survival. The difference in CD44-regulated apoptosis resistance in T cell subpopulations has important implications in a broad spectrum of diseases

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.10.011
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