Antibodies against the CD44 p80, lymphocyte homing receptor molecule augment human peripheral blood T cell activation

J Immunol. 1990 Jan 1;144(1):7-15.


The CD44 inhibitor Lutheran [In(Lu)]-related p80 molecule has recently been shown to be identical to the Hermes-1 lymphocyte homing receptor and to the human Pgp-1 molecule. We have determined the effect of addition of CD44 antibodies to in vitro activation assays of PBMC. CD44 antibodies did not induce PBMC proliferation alone, but markedly enhanced PBMC proliferation induced by a mitogenic CD2 antibody pair or by CD3 antibody. CD44 antibody addition had no effect upon PBMC activation induced by PHA or tetanus toxoid. CD44 antibody enhancement of CD2 antibody-induced T cell activation was specific for mature T cells as thymocytes could not be activated in the presence of combinations of CD2 and CD44 antibodies. CD44 antibody enhancement of CD2-mediated T cell triggering occurred if CD44 antibody was placed either on monocytes or on T cells. In experiments with purified monocyte and T cell suspensions, CD44 antibodies A3D8 and A1G3 augmented CD2-mediated T cell activation by three mechanisms. First, CD44 antibody binding to monocytes induced monocyte IL-1 release, second, CD44 antibodies enhanced the adhesion of T cells and monocytes in CD2 antibody-stimulated cultures, and third, CD44 antibodies augmented T cell IL-2 production in response to CD2 antibodies. Thus, ligand binding to CD44 molecules on T cells and monocytes may regulate numerous events on both cell types that are important for T cell activation. Given that recent data suggest that the CD44 molecule may bind to specific ligands on endothelial cells (vascular addressin) and within the extracellular matrix (collagen, fibronectin), these data raise the possibility that binding of T cells to endothelial cells or extracellular matrix proteins may induce or up-regulate T cell activation in inflammatory sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • CD2 Antigens
  • CD3 Complex
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / pharmacology
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD2 Antigens
  • CD3 Complex
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing