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Tissue Antigens. 1997 Nov;50(5):439-48.

CD101 is expressed by skin dendritic cells. Role in T-lymphocyte activation.

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  • 1INSERM U448, IM3, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.


CD101 was first described in our laboratory using two different monoclonal antibodies, BA27 and BB27, recognizing a 140-kDa disulfide-bonded homodimeric polypeptide on a small subset of circulating T lymphocytes and on most activated T cells in vitro. Further, it has been reported that most intestinal mucosal T lymphocytes expressed CD101. The gene coding for the CD101 antigen has been cloned and found to be identical to the gene coding for the recently described V7 antigen, corresponding to a type I trans-membrane protein with seven immunoglobulin-like loops in its extracellular domain. To define surface proteins that are involved in skin dendritic cell (DC) localization or function, we looked for the expression of CD1O1 on skin DC migrating from human skin explants. The majority of these DC had a phenotype of Langerhans cell (LC)-like mature DC, i.e., HLA-DR+ CD1a+ CD1c+ CD11a+ CD11c+ CD40+ CD50+ CD54+ CD58+ CD80+ CD83+ CD86+. We found that CD101 was expressed by a major subset of these HLA-DR+ CD1a+ CD1c+ LC-like skin DC. Next, we studied the effect of anti-CD101 monoclonal antibodies on primary allogeneic and on soluble antigen-specific mixed skin DC-lymphocyte reactions. We showed that two different monoclonal antibodies, BB27 and V7.1, inhibited the T-lymphocyte proliferative responses and that the inhibitory effect was overcome by high doses of exogenous IL-2. As both DC and T lymphocytes expressed CD101 molecules, we determined that the inhibitory effect was achieved both at the responder T-cell level and at the DC level. Thus, CD101 which is expressed on a subset of circulating T lymphocytes, has also been found on a subpopulation of LC-like DC. This molecule plays a major role in the activation of T cells by skin DC.

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