Selective Loss of the Calcium Ion Signaling Pathway in T Cells Maturing Toward a T Helper 2 Phenotype

Joanne Sloan-Lancaster, Thomas H. Steinberg, Paul M. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations


In the CD4+ T cell lineage, two well-defined differentiated populations are the Th1 and Th2 cells, which stem from a common naive T helper precursor (Thp). In this study, we begin to dissect the signaling pathways selectively used by Th1 or Th2 cells as they mature from a common naive precursor in vitro. We show that the maturing Th1 cells mount a vigorous and specific Ca transient upon contact with immunogenic ligand, which is enhanced over that of the naive progenitor cells. As the cells differentiate toward a Th2 phenotype, they quickly lose the ability to engage this pathway, indicating a developmental segregation of intracellular signaling utilization. Moreover, altered peptide ligand stimulation of the Th1 line stimulates a similar Ca2+ transient as native ligand stimulation of the naive precursors, consistent with a quantitative difference in intracellular signaling by these two peptides. These data provide a direct and sequential assessment of a signaling pathway utilization in peripheral T cells as they differentiate to their final functional states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1168
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

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