Open Access Open Badges Research article

T-cell contact-dependent regulation of CC and CXC chemokine production in monocytes through differential involvement of NFκB: implications for rheumatoid arthritis

Jonathan T Beech1*, Evangelos Andreakos2, Cathleen J Ciesielski1, Patricia Green1, Brian MJ Foxwell1 and Fionula M Brennan1

  • * Corresponding author: Jonathan T Beech

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Division, Imperial College School of Medicine, 1 Aspenlea Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8LH, UK

2 Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens, Center for Immunology and Transplantations, 4 Soranou tou Ephessiou, 11527 Athens, Greece

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R168  doi:10.1186/ar2077

Published: 13 November 2006


We and others have reported that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial T cells can activate human monocytes/macrophages in a contact-dependent manner to induce the expression of inflammatory cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). In the present study we demonstrate that RA synovial T cells without further activation can also induce monocyte CC and CXC chemokine production in a contact-dependent manner. The transcription factor NFκB is differentially involved in this process as CXC chemokines but not CC chemokines are inhibited after overexpression of IκBα, the natural inhibitor of NFκB. This effector function of RA synovial T cells is also shared by T cells activated with a cytokine cocktail containing IL-2, IL-6 and TNFα, but not T cells activated by anti-CD3 cross-linking that mimics TCR engagement. This study demonstrates for the first time that RA synovial T cells as well as cytokine-activated T cells are able to induce monocyte chemokine production in a contact-dependent manner and through NFκB-dependent and NFκB-independent mechanisms, in a process influenced by the phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase pathway. Moreover, this study provides further evidence that cytokine-activated T cells share aspects of their effector function with RA synovial T cells and that their targeting in the clinic has therapeutic potential.