David B. Lewis

Publication Details

  • Human Neonatal Naive CD4(+) T Cells Have Enhanced Activation-Dependent Signaling Regulated by the MicroRNA miR-181a JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Palin, A. C., Ramachandran, V., Acharya, S., Lewis, D. B. 2013; 190 (6): 2682-2691


    Compared with older children and adults, human neonates have reduced and delayed CD4(+) T cell immunity to certain pathogens, but the mechanisms for these developmental differences in immune function remain poorly understood. We investigated the hypothesis that impaired human neonatal CD4(+) T cell immunity was due to reduced signaling by naive CD4(+) T cells following engagement of the ??-TCR/CD3 complex and CD28. Surprisingly, calcium flux following engagement of CD3 was significantly higher in neonatal naive CD4(+) T cells from umbilical cord blood (CB) compared with naive CD4(+) T cells from adult peripheral blood. Enhanced calcium flux was also observed in adult CD4(+) recent thymic emigrants. Neonatal naive CD4(+) T cells also had higher activation-induced Erk phosphorylation. The microRNA miR-181a, which enhances activation-induced calcium flux in murine thymocytes, was expressed at significantly higher levels in CB naive CD4(+) T cells compared with adult cells. Overexpression of miR-181a in adult naive CD4(+) T cells increased activation-induced calcium flux, implying that the increased miR-181a levels of CB naive CD4(+) T cells contributed to their enhanced signaling. In contrast, AP-1-dependent transcription, which is downstream of Erk and required for full T cell activation, was decreased in CB naive CD4(+) T cells compared with adult cells. Thus, CB naive CD4(+) T cells have enhanced activation-dependent calcium flux, indicative of the retention of a thymocyte-like phenotype. Enhanced calcium signaling and Erk phosphorylation are decoupled from downstream AP-1-dependent transcription, which is reduced and likely contributes to limitations of human fetal and neonatal CD4(+) T cell immunity.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1202534

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315657200026

    View details for PubMedID 23408835

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