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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1999 Feb-Apr;118(2-4):180-2.

Novel CD8 molecule on macrophages and mast cells: expression, function and signaling.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta., Canada.



We previously identified, using flow cytometry and in situ RT-PCR, a novel CD8 molecule on rat alveolar macrophages (AM) and mast cells (MC). RT-PCR also demonstrated that mouse AM express CD8 mRNA. Functional studies on rat AM determined that ligation of CD8 alpha- and beta-chains induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) upregulation, nitric oxide (NO), TNF-alpha and IL-1beta (CD8alpha only) secretion. However, CD8 did not induce AM phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized or unopsonized particles. Rat MC stimulated through CD8 secreted NO and TNF-alpha, but not histamine. Because of its potential role in regulating cell function, we investigated the signaling pathways involved in macrophage CD8 stimulation.


Inhibitor of src family kinases (PP1) significantly (p<0.05) inhibited CD8alpha (OX8 antibody)-induced iNOS upregulation, NO, TNF-alpha and IL-1beta production in rat AM. In addition, Ro 31-8220 (a PKC inhibitor) inhibited OX8-induced iNOS upregulation, NO and IL-1beta production, but did not inhibit TNF-alpha production. Using Syk antisense, we further determined that OX8 stimulation of NO is Syk kinase dependent.


Studies on the signaling mechanisms of CD8 determined that src family kinases, PKC, and Syk kinase are involved in CD8 signaling. Additionally, CD8 may have differential signaling pathways, as an inhibitor to PKC downregulated OX8-induced IL-1beta, but not TNF-alpha release. Our studies demonstrate that AM CD8 is similar to T lymphocyte CD8 in that src kinases are involved in CD8-mediated signaling. However, p56(lck), which is expressed in T lymphocytes, has not been found in macrophages, suggesting that other src family kinases may be involved in AM and MC CD8 signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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