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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 12;99(23):15006-11. Epub 2002 Nov 5.

Human CD8+ T cells do not require the polarization of lipid rafts for activation and proliferation.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Lipid rafts are important signaling platforms in T cells. Little is known about their properties in human CD8(+) T cells. We studied polarization of lipid rafts by digital immunofluorescence microscopy in primary human T cells, using beads coated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAbs (CD3/28 beads). Unlike CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells did not polarize lipid rafts when stimulated with CD3/28 beads, when the anti-CD28 antibody was substituted with B7.2Ig, or if an anti-CD8 antibody was added to the CD3/28 beads. This phenomenon was also observed in human antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. On stimulation with CD3/28 beads, the T cell antigen receptor clustered at the cell/bead contact area in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Examination of lipid rafts isolated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation revealed the constitutive expression of p(56)Lck in the raft fractions of unstimulated CD8(+) T cells, whereas p(56)Lck was recruited to the raft fraction of CD4(+) T cells only after stimulation with CD3/28 beads. Stimulation with CD3/28 beads induced marked calcium flux, recruitment of PKC-theta and F-actin to the cell/bead contact site, and similar proliferation patterns in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Thus, polarization of lipid rafts is not essential for early signal transduction events or proliferation of human CD8(+) lymphocytes. It is possible that the lower stringency of CD8(+) T cell activation obviates a requirement for raft polarization.

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