T lymphocytes are defective in cystine uptake and thus require exogenous thiols for activation and function. Here we show that monocyte-derived human dendritic cells (DCs) release cysteine in the extracellular space. Cysteine generation is increased by lipopolysaccharide and tumor necrosis factor α, and by contact with T cells specifically recognizing soluble or alloantigens. These stimuli also induce thioredoxin (TRX) accumulation in DCs. However, only the contact with antigen-specific T cells triggers TRX secretion by the antigen-presenting cells. Fewer extracellular thiols are recovered after DC-T cell interactions when cystine uptake or TRX activity are inhibited. In addition, glutamate (Glu) and anti-TRX-inactivating antibodies inhibit antigen-dependent T lymphocyte proliferation. These findings indicate that, during antigen presentation, DCs uptake cystine and release cysteine and TRX, thus providing a reducing microenvironment that facilitates immune response.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 5 2002|
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