Mature dendritic cells (DCs), in addition to providing costimulation, can define the Th1, in contrast to the Th2, nature of a T-cell response through the production of cytokines and chemokines. Because calcium signaling alone causes rapid DC maturation of both normal and transformed myeloid cells, it was evaluated whether calcium-mobilized DCs polarize T cells toward a Th1 or a Th2 phenotype. After human monocytes were cultured for 24 hours in serum-free medium and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor to produce immature DCs, additional overnight culture with either calcium ionophore (CI) or interferon γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and soluble CD40L resulted in phenotypically mature DCs that produced interleukin-8 (IL-8) and displayed marked expression of CD80, CD86, CD40, CD54, CD83, DCLAMP, and RelB. DCs matured by IFN-γ, TNF-α, and soluble CD40L were additionally distinguished by undetectable CD4 expression, marked secretion of IL-12, IL-6, and MIP-1β, and preferential ability to promote Th1/Tc1 characteristics during T-cell sensitization. In contrast, DCs matured by CI treatment were distinguished by CD4 expression, modest or absent levels of IL-12, IL-6, and MIP-1β, and preferential ability to promote Th2/ Tc2 characteristics. Calcium signaling selectively antagonized IL-12 production by mature DCs activated with IFN-γ, and soluble CD40L. Although the activation of DCs by calcium signals is largely mediated through calcineurin phosphatase, the inhibition of IL-12 production by calcium signaling was independent of this enzyme. Naturally occurring calcium fluxes in immature DCs, therefore, negatively regulate Dc1 differentiation while promoting Dc2 characteristics and Th2/Tc2 polarization. Calcium-mobilized DCs may have clinical usefulness in treating disease states with excessive Th1/Tc1 activity, such as graft-versus-host disease or autoimmunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology