Ligands of CCR5, the major coreceptor of HIV-1, costimulate T lymphocyte activation. However, the full impact of CCR5 expression on T cell responses remains unknown. Here, we show that compared with CCR5+/+, T cells from CCR5-/- mice secrete lower amounts of IL-2, and a similar phenotype is observed in humans who lack CCR5 expression (CCR5-Δ32/ Δ32 homozygotes) as well as after Ab-mediated blockade of CCR5 in human T cells genetically intact for CCR5 expression. Conversely, overexpression of CCR5 in human T cells results in enhanced IL-2 production. CCR5 surface levels correlate positively with IL-2 protein and mRNA abundance, suggesting that CCR5 affects IL-2 gene regulation. Signaling via CCR5 resulted in NFAT transactivation in T cells that was blocked by Abs against CCR5 agonists, suggesting a link between CCR5 and downstream pathways that influence IL-2 expression. Furthermore, murine T cells lacking CCR5 had reduced levels of intranuclear NFAT following activation. Accordingly, CCR5 expression also promoted IL-2-dependent events, including CD25 expression, STAT5 phosphorylation, and T cell proliferation. We therefore suggest that by influencing a NFAT-mediated pathway that regulates IL-2 production and IL-2-dependent events, CCR5 may play a critical role in T cell responses. In accord with our prior inferences from geneticepidemiologic studies, such CCR5-dependent responses might constitute a viral entry-independent mechanism by which CCR5 may influence HIV-AIDS pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy