Expression of CD10 by human T cells that undergo apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo

Giovanna Cutrona, Nicolò Leanza, Massimo Ulivi, Giovanni Melioli, Vito L. Burgio, Giovanni Mazzarello, Giovanni Gabutti, Silvio Roncella, Manlio Ferrarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study shows that human postthymic T cells express CD10 when undergoing apoptosis, irrespective of the signal responsible for initiating the apoptotic process. Cells from continuous T-cell lines did not normally express CD10, but became CD10+ when induced into apoptosis by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and exposure to CD95 monoclonal antibody, etoposide, or staurosporin. Inhibitors of caspases blocked apoptosis and CD10 expression. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells purified from normal peripheral blood expressed CD10 on apoptotic induction. CD10 was newly synthesized by the apoptosing cells because its expression was inhibited by exposure to cycloheximide and CD10 mRNA became detectable by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in T cells cultured under conditions favoring apoptosis. To show CD10 on T cells apoptosing in vivo, lymph node and peripheral blood T cells from HIV+ subjects were used. These suspensions were composed of a substantial, although variable, proportion of apoptosing T cells that consistently expressed CD10. In contrast, CD10+ as well as spontaneously apoptosing T cells were virtually absent in peripheral blood from normal individuals. Collectively, these observations indicate that CD10 may represent a reliable marker for identifying and isolating apoptosing T cells in vitro and ex vivo and possibly suggest novel functions for surface CD10 in the apoptotic process of lymphoid cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3067-3076
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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