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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential regulation of Ca2+ mobilization in human thymocytes by coaggregation of surface molecules.

Variations in intracellular Ca2+ levels in developing thymocytes are likely to play a major role in both the activation-associated differentiation of thymocytes and in the selection or clonal deletion of cells. Here we examine the role of CD4, CD8, CD2, and CD45 in the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ levels in mature and immature thymocytes. Mature and immature thymocytes, distinguished on the basis of their CD5 expression, were analyzed simultaneously for their ability to mobilize Ca2+ after coaggregation of their CD3/TCR with other thymic surface Ag. Flow cytometric analysis by using Indo-1 showed that coaggregation of CD4, CD8, and CD2 with CD3/TCR clearly enhances a minimal signal delivered via CD3/TCR on immature thymocytes. Coaggregation with class I MHC had no discernible effect. The responsiveness of immature thymocytes correlated strictly with CD3 surface expression, such that loss of responsiveness occurred with reduced CD3 cell-surface density. However, even thymocytes with very low CD3 expression were able to respond to triggering via CD3 under optimal conditions, indicating that the CD3 signal-transducing mechanism is functional on early thymic cells. Intracellular increases in Ca2+ concentrations induced via CD3, could effectively be inhibited by cross-linking of CD45 and CD3 on immature thymocytes. Although triggering via CD2 alone induced a strong Ca2+ flux, prolonged incubation with activating anti-CD2 antibodies made thymocytes refractory to subsequent triggering. Refractoriness was associated with partial loss of surface CD3 and CD3 zeta. Our results indicate that thymic surface Ag are differentially involved in the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ levels in immature as well as mature thymocytes.[1]


  1. Differential regulation of Ca2+ mobilization in human thymocytes by coaggregation of surface molecules. Deusch, K., Daley, J.F., Levine, H., Languet, A.J., Anderson, P., Schlossman, S.F., Blue, M.L. J. Immunol. (1990) [Pubmed]
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