Direct and Indirect Control of T-Cell Activation by Keratinocytes

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      Keratinocytes can function as antigen-presenting cells/accessory cells and regulate T cells with three distinct outcomes, depending on the nature of the stimulus. In the presence of alloantigen, it appears that a "null" event takes place between T cells and keratinocytes, with neither activation nor induction of tolerance. Using nominal antigen, keratinocytes induce antigen-specific tolerance. In contrast, with bacterial-derived superantigens, phytohemagglutinin, or immobilized CD3 monoclonal antibody, keratinocytes can significantly activate resting autolo-gous T-cell proliferation and cytokine release. To understand these highly divergent responses, we focused on the two-signal model of T-cell activation, with particular emphasis on costimulatory molecules expressed by keratinocytes. Such second signals, as highlighted by the B7 and CD28 receptor families, provide useful insights into the complex interactions involving keratinocytes and T cells. In this review, we summarize recent evidence indicating that keratinocytes regulate T-cell activation in a direct and indirect manner by their mutual expression and responsiveness involving adhesion molecules, cytokines, and costimulatory signals. As investigative momentum continues to grow in the fields of immunology and keratinocyte biology, it is likely that manipulation of CD28:B7 interactions will not only provide a useful model to understand further the complexities of skin immune reactions, but will also serve as the basis for new therapeutic opportunities for numerous T-cell—mediated diseases that involve aberrant reactions with keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol 105-.25S-29S, 1995