CTL adhesion and antigen recognition are discrete steps in the human CTL-target cell interaction

S. J. Mentzer, B. R. Smith, J. A. Barbosa, M. A. Crimmins, S. H. Herrmann, S. J. Burakoff

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40 Scopus citations


The initial step in cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated cytolysis involves target cell adhesion and antigen recognition. To investigate these initial events in the CTL-target interaction, we used HLA-A2- and HLA-B7-specific human CTL clones and HLA-typed B lymphoblastoid target cells. By using two different adhesion assays, we demonstrated antigen nonspecific CTL-target cell adhesion. To more precisely define the contribution of the antigen-specific receptor to CTL-target cell adhesion, we used the HLA-A2, HLA-B7, and mock transfected RD target cells. Consistent with the results when using B lymphoblastoid target cells, the CTL clones demonstrated equivalent adhesions to the RD target cells whether or not they expressed HLA-A2 or HLA-B7. These results suggested that CTL-target cell adhesion occurred independent of the T cell receptor. By using the calcium-sensitive dye Indo-1 and flow cytometry, we assessed CTL-target cell adhesion and CTL activation. Simultaneous measurement of adhesion and intracellular free calcium demonstrated that CTL-target cell adhesion alone did not activate CTL clones. Both CTL-target cell adhesion and the presence of the appropriate HLA target molecule were necessary for the efficient activation of human CTL. MAb inhibition studies indicated that antigen nonspecific adhesion is largely regulated by the LFA-1, CD2 (LFA-2/T11), and LFA-3 cell surface molecules. These antigen nonspecific cell-cell interaction molecules appear to play an important role in facilitating antigen recognition and subsequent target cell lysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1330
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987


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