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J Immunol. 1991 Mar 15;146(6):1773-82.

The accessory function of murine intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in T lymphocyte activation. Contributions of adhesion and co-activation.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0063.


These studies demonstrate that the murine intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) performs at least two roles in enhancing T cell activation. These two roles are evident in both of our experimental systems: with ICAM-1 expressed on the surface of transfected fibroblast cells, and with purified ICAM-1 immobilized on plastic. First, as has been documented by many investigators, ICAM-1 mediates adhesion between ICAM-1- and lymphocyte function-associated Ag-1 (LFA-1)-bearing cells. This adhesive interaction occurs even in the absence of T cell stimulation, although it is increased by addition of phorbol ester and calcium ionophore. Although ICAM-1 expression does markedly increase intercellular adhesion, the increase is significantly less than the improvement ICAM-1 expression makes in the Ag-presenting ability of MHC class II-transfected fibroblast cells. We have investigated whether this difference is due to LFA-1-mediated signaling, and we present data that demonstrates that although ICAM-1 does not deliver costimulatory signals required for T cell activation, the interaction of LFA-1 with ICAM-1 does synergize with TCR-transduced signals. This synergy is observed for ICAM-1 on live and on chemically fixed accessory cells, and for purified ICAM-1 molecules, but in all cases occurs only when the ICAM-1 and the TCR ligands are on the same surface. Finally, when the ICAM-1 is present on the surface of accessory cells, it enhances T cell activation by changing the Ag dose-dependence of the T cell, but when ICAM-1 and CD3 mAb are co-immobilized, ICAM-1 increases the peak response of the T cell without affecting the dose dependence of the response.

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