• CD4+ T cells;
  • TH-0;
  • TH-1;
  • TH-2;
  • functional phenotype;
  • LFA-1;
  • ICAM-1


Background The adhesion molecule LFA-1 contributes to the activation response of peripheral blood human CD4+ T cells. Less is known of its contribution to stimulation of long-term CD4+ T cell lines and clones or of its potential to co-stimulate CD4+ T cells of different functional phenotype.

Objective This study was therefore performed to investigate co-stimulatory properties of the LFA-1 (CD11a/CD 18) complex in the activation of human CD4+ T cell lines and clones of TH-0. TH-1 and TH-2 subsets.

Methods Co-stimulatory activity was measured by cross-linking antibodies to CD 11a or CD18 with anti-CD3 antibodies to plastic and then measuring the proliferative response of CD4+ T cells to these antibodies.

Results A house duct mite allergen-specific CD4+ T cell line (TH-2) demonstrated much greater dependence on both C'DI la and CD IK than a mycobacterial antigen-specific CD4+ T cell line (TH-1). Co-stimulatory activity through LFA-1 was also provided to a house dust mite-specific CD4+ T cell clone (DE-9; TH-2) but not to an influenza haemagglutinin-specific CD4+ T cell clone (HA 1.7: TH-0). In contrast, soluble antibodies to CD 18 inhibited proliferativc responses of both DE-9 and HA1.7 to an immunogenic challenge of antigen and to stimulation by unti-CD3 antibodies. However, the allergen-specific T cells were more susceptible to inhibition. Signal transduction was also observed from the T-cell receptor to LFA-1. Ligation of the T-cell receptor modulated the phenotypic expression of LFA-1 and ICAM-1 on both HA1-7 and DE-9). Phenotypic modulation was observed as a result of both activation and the induction of non-responsiveness.

Conclusion These experiments indicate that CD4+ T cells of TH-2 functional phenotype may have a greater requirement for the co-stimulatory activity of LFA-1 than CD4+ T cells of TH-0 or TH-1 phenotypes.