In vitro differentiated human CD4+ T cells produce hepatocyte growth factor

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Differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into effector T cells is a dynamic process in which the cells are polarized into T helper (Th) subsets. The subsets largely consist of four fundamental categories: Th1, Th2, Th17, and regulatory T cells. We show that human memory CD4+ T cells can produce hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a pleiotropic cytokine which can affect several tissue types through signaling by its receptor, c-Met. In vitro differentiation of T cells into Th-like subsets revealed that HGF producing T cells increase under Th1 conditions. Enrichment of HGF producing cells was possible by targeting cells with surface CD30 expression, a marker discovered through single-cell RNA-sequencing. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of PI3K or mTOR was found to inhibit HGF mRNA and protein, while an Akt inhibitor was found to increase these levels. The findings suggest that HGF producing T cells could play a role in disease where Th1 are present.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1210836
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Ford, Buus, Nastasi, Geisler, Bonefeld, Ødum and Woetmann.

    Research areas

  • c-Met, cytokine, growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, HGF, sequencing, T cell

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