Antigen-specific T cell activation requires the engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR) with antigen as well as the engagement of appropriate costimulatory molecules. The most extensively characterized pathway of costimulation has been that involving the interaction of CD28 and CTLA4 on the T cell with B7 (now termed B7-1) on antigen presenting cells. Recently, B7-2 a second costimulatory ligand for CTLA4, was described, demonstrating the potential complexity of costimulatory interactions. This report examines and compares the expression and function of B7-1 and B7-2. Overall these results indicate that (a) B7-1 and B7-2 can be expressed by multiple cell types, including B cells, T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells, all of which are therefore candidate populations for delivering costimulatory signals mediated by these molecules; (b) stimulating B cells with either LPS or anti-IgD-dextran induced expression of both B7-1 and B7-2, and peak expression of both costimulatory molecules occurred after 18-42 h of culture. Expression of B7-2 on these B cell populations was significantly higher than expression of B7-1 at all times assayed after stimulation; (c) blocking of B7-2 costimulatory activity inhibited TCR-dependent T cell proliferation and cytokine production, without affecting early consequences of TCR signaling such as induction of CD69 or interleukin 2 receptor alpha (IL-2R alpha); and (d) expression of B7-1 and of B7-2 can be regulated by a variety of stimuli. Moreover, expression of B7-1 and B7-2 can be independently regulated by the same stimulus, providing an additional complexity in the mechanisms available for regulating costimulation and hence immune response.

This content is only available as a PDF.