Diversity in T cell costimulation by α4β1 integrin

Matthew John Billard, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


T cell activation requires antigen-specific T cell receptor signals that spatially and temporally coincide with a second costimulatory signal. CD28 and α4β1 integrin both function as T cell costimulators, but their individual mechanisms remain elusive. By directly comparing CD3-dependent functions and signaling pathways employed by these two costimulatory receptors, aspects of their individual signaling mechanisms are explored. We determined that CD28 and α4β1 integrins both use Src-family kinase Lck and MAPK Erk, but to different extents and functional ends. After identifying functional differences between CD28 and integrin costimulatory pathways, the focus of the study turned to integrin signaling in naïve and memory T cell subsets. CD45RO T cells are fully co-activated by natural β1 integrin ligands fibronectin (FN) and VCAM-1, β1 monoclonal antibody 33B6, as well as α4β1 monoclonal antibody 19H8 which binds a combinatorial epitope of the α4β1 heterodimer. While CD28 fully costimulates CD45RA T cells, the degree of activation from integrin ligands varies. FN costimulates CD3-dependent proliferation, IL-2 secretion, and early activation markers CD25 and CD69. However, β1 antibody 33B6, which binds to the same T cell integrins (α4β1 and α5β1) as natural ligand FN, failed to costimulate proliferation or IL-2 in the CD45RA subset, but retained the ability to regulate CD25 and CD69. Unique aspects of 19H8 signaling involve early Erk activation and IL-2 independent proliferation. Signaling defects through 33B6 ligation correlates with poor adhesion under fluid flow conditions, suggesting a cytoskeletal basis for signaling. All together, these data provide evidence for a mechanism of α4β1 integrin signaling and describe functional differences between naïve and memory T cells.

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Recommended Citation

Billard, Matthew John, "Diversity in T cell costimulation by α4β1 integrin" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3305160.