Physiological T cell activation starts and propagates in lipid rafts

Paola Pizzo, Emanuele Giurisato, Anna Bigsten, Maristella Tassi, Regina Tavano, Andrey Shaw, Antonella Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipid rafts are plasma membrane compartments enriched in key signaling molecules. We have previously shown that in T lymphocytes anti-CD3 stimulation is insensitive to cholesterol extraction by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD), suggesting that anti-CD3 induced signal transduction is independent of raft integrity. Here we show that, in contrast to T cell stimulation by anti-CD3 antibodies, T cell activation by a physiological ligand is mediated by signaling events taking place in lipid raft. Indeed, cholesterol depletion by MβCD resulted in reduced T cell activation in response to Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed B cells pulsed with a bacterial superantigen. Moreover, T cell stimulation by pulsed EBV-B cells, but not by anti-CD3 antibodies, induced recruitment of active Lck in detergent-resistant membranes, where the signal transduction is organized and amplified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2004


  • Lipid rafts
  • Signal transduction
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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