Antibodies to CD44 Trigger Effector Functions of Human T Cell Clones

Ricciarda Galandrini, Nicola Albi, Gino Tripodi, Daniela Zarcone, Adelmo Terenzi, Alessandro Moretta, Carlo E. Grossi, Andrea Velardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


mAb against the lymphocyte homing receptor CD44/Hermes up-regulate the proliferation of human T PBL induced by anti-CD3 or anti-CD2 mAb. Moreover, certain anti-CD44 mAb can activate human resting T cells and mouse cytotoxic T cells in the absence of anti-CD3 or anti-CD2 mAb. Here, we show that anti-CD44 mAb trigger proliferation of human CD3+/CD4+ T cell clones in a fashion similar to that observed with mAb to CD3. Such an effect is IL-2-dependent, as shown by IL-2 production induced by anti-CD44 mAb and by complete inhibition of cell proliferation in the presence of anti-IL-2 antibodies or cyclosporin A. Moreover, anti-CD44 mAb trigger human cytolytic T cell clones to lyse Fcγ-R+ P815 cells in the absence of additional stimuli. The magnitude of the cytolytic response induced by anti-CD44 mAb is comparable to that observed in the presence of anti-CD3 mAb for both CD4+ and CD8+ TCR-α/β+ clones, and for Vδ1 or Vδ2 TCR-γ/δ+ clones. By contrast, in CD3-/CD16+ NK cell clones, no cytolytic responses to anti-CD44 mAb could be observed. Granule trypsin-like esterase enzyme (granzyme) release by cytolytic T cell clones is induced by plastic-immobilized anti-CD44 mAb. Anti-CD44 mAb-triggered proliferation ([3H]thymidine incorporation) and cytotoxicity are blocked by the protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, genestein. In addition, ligation of the CD44 molecule induces tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins identical, by molecular mass, to those phosphorylated after anti-CD3 mAb stimulation. Notably, anti-CD44 mAb does not induce tyrosine phosphorylation of a 21-kDa protein (the phosphorylated ζ-chain of the TCR molecular complex) typically observed upon anti-CD3 mAb stimulation. In conclusion, this study shows that the ligated CD44 molecule provides the necessary stimuli for a variety of T cell-mediated functions triggered via protein tyrosine kinase-dependent signal transduction pathways at least in part similar to those that follow stimulation of the CD3/ TCR complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4225-4235
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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