Effects of cadmium and vanadium ions on antigen-induced signaling in CD4+ T cells

Kyeongeun Lee, Xiaoli Shen, Rolf König

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Heavy metal environmental pollutants modulate antigen-directed responses by T lymphocytes, but the molecular mechanisms by which certain metal ions exert their effects are only poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that cadmium and vanadium ions alter antigen-induced T cell signal transduction pathways in CD4+ T helper cells. We used CD4+ primary T lymphocytes and splenic T cells from DO.11.10 T cell receptor transgenic mice. We determined the effects of cadmium chloride and sodium orthovanadate at concentrations that did not induce apoptotic cell death, but affected cytokine or proliferation responses to antigenic stimulation. We used electrophoretic mobility shift assays to measure effects of cadmium and vanadium ions on antigen-induced activation of the nuclear transcriptional regulator proteins, nuclear factor-kappaB, cyclic AMP response element binding protein, nuclear factor of activated T cells, and activator protein-1. Different signaling pathways lead to activation of these transcription factors. Our results suggest that the two heavy metal ions differentially affect signaling pathways. This knowledge will help in the development of molecular epidemiological assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001


  • Heavy metals
  • In vitro system
  • T lymphocytes
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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