Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8707335
Immunology 1996 May;88(1):110-5
The CD31 antigen (PECAM-1) has been reported to be a stable marker for a human CD4 T-cell subpopulation unable to produce interleukin-4 (IL-4). We show here that CD31 expression is not stable inasmuch as CD4 T-cell lines and clones derived from cell-sorted neonatal CD31+ cells lose CD31 upon repetitive cycles of stimulation and IL-2 expansion. Moreover, various cytokines (IL-1 alpha, IL-4, IL-6, transforming growth factor-beta) fail to reinduce CD31 on CD31- clones. Whereas all CD31+ CD4 T cells rapidly express high levels of the CD45RO antigen and down-regulate the L-selectin antigen after priming, CD31 disappears more slowly because only part of the cells lose CD31 expression upon each cycle of stimulation. Loss of CD31 reflects a functional maturation of CD45RO+ cells since, in a system which favours the development of Th2 effectors, IL-4 is produced by CD31- but not CD31+ effector T cells, whereas interferon-gamma is produced by both types of cells. However, CD31 is not a Th1 marker since it is not expressed on several Th1 antigen-specific clones. We conclude that CD31 is a maturation marker expressed on the great majority of naive CD45RO- CD4 T cells and on a subset of CD45RO+ CD4 T cells that are at an intermediate stage of maturation.