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Immunology. 1999 Sep;98(1):9-15.

Mechanisms of binding of cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen-positive and alphaebeta7-positive lymphocytes to oral and skin keratinocytes.

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Department of Oral Pathology, St Bartholomew's & the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.


Intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) utilize the integrin alphaebeta7 on their surface to bind to E-cadherin on epithelial cells in the gut and breast. In oral mucosa and skin IEL express alphaebeta7 and the cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) but the mechanisms of adhesion of these subsets to keratinocytes are unknown. Levels of alphaebeta7 and CLA were up-regulated on peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and interleukin-12 (IL-12), respectively, and both groups of lymphocytes adhered onto oral and skin keratinocytes. Adhesion of IL-12-activated PBL was totally abolished by anti-lymphocyte-associated function antigen type 1 (anti-LFA-1) antibodies but was unaffected by anti-alphaebeta7 antibodies indicating that adhesion of the CLA-positive subset is mediated via LFA-1 interaction with intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Adhesion of TGF-beta-activated PBL to E-cadherin-positive oral and skin keratinocytes was partially inhibited by anti-alphaebeta7 antibodies but was unaffected by the blocking antibody E4.6 against E-cadherin which detects the binding site for alphaebeta7-positive lymphocytes in breast and gut epithelium. TGF-beta-activated PBL also bound to an E-cadherin-negative oral keratinocyte cell line and adhesion was inhibited by anti-alphaebeta7 antibodies. These results strongly suggest that in oral epithelium and epidermis alphaebeta7-positive lymphocytes do not bind to E-cadherin and there may be a novel second ligand for the alphaebeta7 integrin.

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