Involvement of CD45 in dexamethasone- and heat shock-induced apoptosis of rat thymocytes

L. Troiano, D. Monti, A. Cossarizza, E. Lovato, F. Tropea, D. Barbieri, M. C. Morale, F. Gallo, B. Marchetti, C. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


CD45 is a transmembrane tyrosine-specific phosphatase which participates in lymphoid cell signal transduction during T cell activation, as well as in intrathymic negative and positive selection. In mammals, this molecule exhibits a variety of isoforms of different molecular weight, whose roles have still to be fully elucidated. We report here that apoptosis of rat thymocytes after in vitro dexamethasone and heat shock treatment was accompanied by an early significative increase of cells expressing CD45RC, the high molecular weight isoform of CD45 molecule. The same phenomenon was observed in thymocytes derived from in vivo dexamethasone-treated rats. However, the increase of CD45RC+ cells was not apparently characteristic of cells undergoing apoptosis, as the same phenomenon was also observed in rat thymocytes induced to proliferate by Concanavalin A. On the whole, these results suggest that CD45 modulation can be added to the list of early molecular events, such as the increased expression of genes (ornithine decarboxylase), proto-oncogenes (c-fos, c-jun, c-myc) and activation of transcription factors (AP-1, NFκB), we previously demonstrated in the same experimental model to occur and to be shared by these two apparently opposite biological processes, i.e., cell proliferation and apoptosis, both likely depending on a complex balance of protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-948
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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