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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 15;166(4):2427-36.

Thrombospondin-1 inhibits TCR-mediated T lymphocyte early activation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pathology, Division of Clinical Science, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Biological activities of the matrix glycoprotein thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) are cell type specific and depend on the relative expression or activation of several TSP1 receptors. Although engaging individual TSP1 receptors in T lymphocytes can elicit costimulating signals, in this study we show that intact TSP1 inhibits TCR-mediated T cell activation, assessed globally using cDNA microarrays. TSP1 signaling suppressed expression of several genes induced in Jurkat T cells, including the T cell activation markers CD69, early growth response gene-1 (Egr-1), and phosphatase of activated cells (PAC-1). TCR-stimulated and CD47-costimulated IL-2 secretion and cell surface CD69 expression were also inhibited by TSP1. The specific inhibitory effect of TSP1 was verified in freshly isolated human PBMCs. TSP1 inhibited TCR-mediated but not protein kinase C-mediated T cell activation. Using CD69 expression as a marker, we demonstrated that the inhibitory activity of TSP1 depended on two TSP1 receptors, CD47 and integrin-associated protein heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Signals from these receptors inhibited TCR signaling downstream of ZAP70, but upstream of NF-AT. Therefore, the expression of TSP1 induced during wound repair and in tumor stroma may limit T cell activation at these sites.

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