The induction of T-cell apoptosis is regulated in part by monocytes (CD14+ cells). Human peripheral blood monocytes inhibited the spontaneous cell death of activated T cells in vitro. The inhibition of T-cell apoptosis did not require autologous monocytes. Inhibition required direct contact with monocytes and was not due to a soluble factor. Furthermore, treatment of monocytes with actinomycin D, cycloheximide and paraformaldehyde abrogated the anti-apoptotic activity of these cells. Blocking antibody to CD40 and CD154 (CD40 ligand) decreased the ability of monocytes to aid in T-cell survival, whereas, blocking LFA-1/I-CAM-1, Fas ligand and the CD4/major histocompatibility complex class II interaction did not affect the influence of monocytes on T-cell survival. This shows that monocytes rescue of activated T cells from apoptosis is dependent upon CD40/CD154 interaction.
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