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Keywords:

  • antigen-presenting cell scanning;
  • lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1;
  • T-cell motility;
  • Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein

Summary

T-cell scanning for antigen-presenting cells (APC) is a finely tuned process. Whereas non-cognate APC trigger T-cell motility via chemokines and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), cognate APC deliver a stop signal resulting from antigen recognition. We tested in vitro the contribution of the actin cytoskeleton regulator Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) to the scanning activity of primary human CD4+ T cells. WASP knock-down resulted in increased T-cell motility upon encounter with non-cognate dendritic cells or B cells and reduced capacity to stop following antigen recognition. The high motility of WASP-deficient T cells was accompanied by a diminished ability to round up and to stabilize pauses. WASP-deficient T cells migrated in a normal proportion towards CXCL12, CCL19 and CCL21, but displayed an increased adhesion and elongation on ICAM-1. The elongated morphology of WASP-deficient T cells was related to a reduced confinement of high-affinity lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 to the mid-cell zone. Our data therefore indicate that WASP controls CD4+ T-cell motility upon APC encounter by regulating lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 spatial distribution.