CD69-mediated pathway of lymphocyte activation: Anti-CD69 monoclonal antibodies trigger the cytolytic activity of different lymphoid effector cells with the exception of cytolytic T lymphocytes expressing T cell receptor α/β

A. Moretta, A. Poggi, D. Pende, G. Tripodi, A. M. Orengo, N. Pella, R. Augugliaro, C. Bottino, E. Ciccone, L. Moretta

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The effect of anti-CD69 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) on the induction of the cytolytic activity in different types of lymphoid effector cells has been investigated. Three anti-CD69 mAbs, including the reference mAb MLR3 and two new mAbs (c227 and 31C4), have been used. All cloned CD3-CD16+ natural killer (NK) cells belonging to different subsets (as defined by the surface expression of GL183 and/or EB6 antigens) were efficiently triggered by anti- CD69 mAbs and lysed P815 mastocytoma cells in a redirected killing assay. Triggering of the cytolytic activity could also be induced in CD3-CD16- NK clones, which fail to respond to other stimuli (including anti-CD16, anti-CD2 mAbs, or phytohemagglutinin). A similar triggering effect was detected in T cell receptor (TCR) γ/δ+ clones belonging to different subsets. On the other hand, anti-CD69 mAbs could not induce triggering of the cytolytic activity in TCR α/β+ cytolytic clones. Since all thymocytes are known to express CD69 antigen after cell activation, we analyzed a series of phenotypically different cytolytic thymocyte populations and clones for their responsiveness to anti-CD69 mAb in a redirected killing assay. Again, anti- CD69 mAb triggered TCR γ/δ+ but not TCR α/β+ thymocytes. Anti-CD69 mAb efficiently triggered the cytolytic activity of 'early' thymocytes lines or clones (CD3-4-8-7+), which lack all other known pathways of cell activation. Thus, it appears that CD69 molecules may initiate a pathway of activation of cytolytic functions common to a number of activated effector lymphocytes with the remarkable exception of TCR α/β+ cytolytic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1398
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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