p40 molecule regulates NK cell activation mediated by NK receptors for HLA class I antigens and TCR-mediated triggering of T lymphocytes

Alessandro Poggi, Elena Tomasello, Valentino Revello, Luca Nanni, Paola Costa, Lorenzo Moretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


p40 was previously described as a regulatory molecule capable of inhibiting both the natural and the CD16-mediated cytotoxicity of NK cells. In this study, we analyze the effect of p40 molecule engagement on the NK cell triggering induced by activating HLA class I-specific NK receptors (NKR) or on TCRαβ-mediated T cell activation. CD3-CD16+ NK cell clones expressing activating NKR (either CD94 or p50) were analyzed in a redirected killing assay using P815 target cells and appropriate mAb. A strong target cell lysis was detected in the presence of anti-NKR or anti-CD16 mAb alone. Addition of anti-p40 mAb resulted in a strong inhibition of both anti-NKR or anti-CD16 mAb-induced cytolysis. mAb specific for either CD45 or lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 did not exert any inhibitory effect in the same experimental system. Free intracellular calcium ([Ca2+](i)) increase induced by mAb cross-linking of activating CD94 or p50 was inhibited by simultaneous engagement of p40 molecules, but not of other NK surface molecules including CD44 and CD56. In addition, cross-linking of p40 molecules strongly inhibited the CD94-induced tumor necrosis factor-α and IFN-γ production. Analysis of TCR αβ or γδ T cell clones revealed that the engagement of p40 molecules, using specific mAb, induced some degree of inhibition only on anti-V(β) (but not anti-V(δ) or anti-CD3) mAb-induced cytotoxicity. On the other hand, the p40 molecule engagement prevented T cell proliferation induced by either anti-V(β)8 or anti-V(δ)2 mAb. A similar inhibitory effect was found on the IL-2-induced NK cell proliferation. Taken together, our present findings suggest that p40 may play a role in the regulation of NK and T lymphocyte activation and proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1279
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Activating NKR
  • HLA-class I
  • NK cells
  • Regulation
  • TCR activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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