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J Immunol. 1989 Jun 1;142(11):4105-12.

Activation of human cytolytic cells through CD2/T11. Comparison of the requirements for the induction and direction of lysis of tumor targets by T cells and NK cells.

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  • 1Division of Tumor Immunology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


We studied the mechanisms whereby human T cells and NK cells are activated and directed to lyse tumor targets through the CD2 (T11/E-rosette) Ag. Using two cloned NK lines, we showed that these cells, as had previously been shown for T cells, could be directed to lyse an "NK-resistant" tumor target in the presence of antibody heterodimers. These heterodimers consisted of a (mAb) to CD2 (anti-T11(2) or anti-T11(3] linked to a mAb recognizing the tumor cell (J5, anti-CALLA). However, distinct differences between NK cells and T cells were observed with regard to the requirements for such directed lysis: first, only one epitope of CD2 on NK cells (either T11(2) or T11(3] needed to be recognized by the antibody heterodimer in order for directed lysis to occur, whereas for T cells both T11(2) and T11(3) epitopes had to be recognized. Second, in confirmation of previous data with monomeric anti-T11(2) or anti-T11(3) antibody, heterodimers constructed with these reagents enhanced conjugate formation between NK cells and tumor targets, whereas no such enhancement was seen with T cells. All types of heterodimer directed lysis were dependent on the adhesion molecule LFA-1, as an anti-LFA-1 antibody-blocked lysis. Third, whereas in T cells lysis mediated through CD2 appeared to be regulated by CD3 but not vice versa, all types of lysis by NK cells appeared to be regulated through CD2. Finally we showed that F(ab')2 fragments of the anti-T11(2) and anti-T11(3) antibodies could activate NK cells, but were unable to activate T cells either as cloned cytolytic lines, or in populations of PBL. The implications of our findings with regard to the role of CD2 in the activation of cytolytic cells is discussed.

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