The CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 inhibitory receptor is expressed by all human T lymphocytes and down-regulates their functions

D. Saverino, M. Fabbi, F. Ghiotto, A. Merlo, S. Bruno, D. Zarcone, C. Tenca, M. Tiso, G. Santoro, G. Anastasi, D. Cosman, C. E. Grossi, E. Ciccone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inhibitory molecule CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 has been detected previously on the surface of a small proportion of T lymphocytes. In this study, evidence is provided that, although only a fraction of CD3 + cells are stained by mAb specific for CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 on their surface, this inhibitory receptor is present in the cytoplasm of all T lymphocytes, and that it is detectable on the surface of all T cell clones by the M402 mAb. Biochemical analyses further demonstrate that CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 is present in all T clones analyzed, and that the protein is tyrosine-phosphorylated. Expression of mRNA coding for CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 has been assessed by RT-PCR. Notably, in the NKL cell line and in one T cell clone, amplification of the messenger required 30 cycles only, whereas, in other T cell clones, an amplification product was detected by increasing the number of cycles. CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 inhibits CD3/TCR-mediated activation in both CD4 + and CD8 + clones, and it down-regulates Ag recognition by CD8 + cells in a clonally distributed fashion. Addition of anti-ILT2 HP-F1 mAb in the cytolytic assay enhances target cell lysis mediated by Ag-specific CTL. This could be due to interference of the mAb with receptor/ligand interactions. In contrast, HP-F1 mAb cross-linking triggers inhibitory signals that reduce cytotoxicity. CD85/LIR-1/ILT2 also controls responses to recall Ags and, in low responders, its engagement sharply increases T cell proliferation. The inhibitory function of the molecule is also confirmed by its ability to reduce CD3/TCR-induced intracellular Ca 2+ mobilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3742-3755
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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