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J Immunol. 1998 Apr 1;160(7):3259-68.

Functional consequences of costimulation by ICAM-1 on IL-2 gene expression and T cell activation.

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  • 1Committee on Immunology, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


LFA-1 is a well-recognized adhesion molecule, but its role in providing costimulatory signals to T cells has remained controversial. We have compared the ability of class II-positive transfectants that do and do not coexpress ICAM-1 (ProAd and ProAd-ICAM) to activate Ag-specific Th1 clones and naive CD4-positive T cells isolated from TCR transgenic mice. Ag presentation by ProAd to Th1 clones can induce calcium-dependent signaling events after engagement of the TCR, as evidenced by the nuclear localization of the transcription factors NF-AT and NF-kappaB. Nevertheless, coexpression of ICAM-1 or B7-1 on ProAd is required to induce detectable levels of IL-2 gene expression in either Th1 clones or naive T cells. In Th1 clones, activation by ProAd-ICAM induces very transient IL-2 mRNA expression that does not result in detectable IL-2 secretion or T cell proliferation. In naive T cells, the duration of IL-2 mRNA expression is longer, allowing for a transient burst of IL-2 protein that is sufficient to drive the cells into the cell cycle. In spite of this initial response, Ag presentation by ProAd-ICAM is a tolerogenic signal to naive T cells, and responding T cells undergo apoptosis 4 to 5 days poststimulation. These data suggest that engagement of LFA-1 can provide sufficient costimulatory signals to induce T cell activation and IL-2 gene expression, but cannot protect against anergy induction or provide for T cell survival.

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