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J Clin Immunol. 1994 Nov;14(6):359-67.

A unique syndrome of immunodeficiency and autoimmunity associated with absent T cell CD2 expression.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


CD2 is a glycoprotein expressed on the surface of human T cells that mediates adhesion between T cells and antigen presenting cells. CD2 also functions in concert with the T cell receptor to transduce signals that lead to T cell activation. The CD8 and CD4 molecules are transmembrane glycoproteins that are expressed on mutually exclusive populations of mature T cells and bind to determinants on major histocompatibility complex class I and class II molecules respectively. Like CD2, CD4 and CD8 function to promote adhesion between T cells and antigen presenting cells and potentiate signaling via the T cell receptor. We studied a patient with idiopathic lymphopenia and disseminated infection with Mycobacterium avium. The patient also suffered from recurrent deep venous thrombosis in association with anticardiolipin and anti-DNA antibodies. Peripheral blood T cells from this patient were polyclonal and expressed no detectable CD2 RNA or protein as determined by northern blotting, immunofluorescent staining with anti-CD2 antibodies, and failure to form rosettes with sheep red blood cells. In addition, the majority (85%) of this patient's T cells did not express either CD4 or CD8 but did express the alpha/beta T cell receptor. T cells from this patient failed to respond to stimulation with alloantigen or specific antigen. In contrast, there was a normal response to stimulation with immobilized anti-CD3 antibody. The clinical and immunologic findings in this patient provide in vivo evidence that the accessory molecules CD2, CD4, and CD8 play important roles in the regulation of normal human T cell activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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