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Int Immunol. 2008 Sep;20(9):1119-27. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxn070. Epub 2008 Jul 21.

LFA-1 decreases the antigen dose for T cell activation in vivo.

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Department of Immunology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences and Center for TARA, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-nodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan.


Leukocyte adhesion molecule leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 not only mediates intercellular binding but also delivers co-stimulatory signals in T cells. LFA-1 has been shown to decrease the threshold of TCR signal and an antigen dose required for T cell activation and proliferation in vitro. However, physiological significance of the role of LFA-1 in TCR signal has remained unclear. We examined whether LFA-1 decreased the antigen dose for T cell activation in vivo. We showed here that, although collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) could not be induced by immunization and challenge with a standard amount of type-II collagen in LFA-1-deficient mice, a higher dose of the antigen did induce CIA in the absence of LFA-1. We also showed that CD4+ T cells could be primed by immunization with a high, but not low, dose of ovalbumin antigen in LFA-1-deficient mice. These results suggest that LFA-1 decreases the threshold of TCR signal for T cell activation in vivo as well as in vitro. Further studies using TCR-transgenic LFA-1-deficient mice showed that LFA-1 cooperated with TCR in sustained Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Moreover, TCR could induce sustained Erk1/2 phosphorylation in the absence of LFA-1 when T cells were stimulated with a high, but not low, dose of antigen, suggesting that LFA-1 may cooperate with TCR in sustaining Erk1/2 phosphorylation.

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