T cell adhesion triggers an early signaling pole distal to the immune synapse

J Cell Sci. 2016 Jul 1;129(13):2526-37. doi: 10.1242/jcs.182311. Epub 2016 May 16.


The immunological synapse forms at the interface between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell after foreign antigen recognition. The immunological synapse is considered to be the site where the signaling cascade leading to T lymphocyte activation is triggered. Here, we show that another signaling region can be detected before formation of the synapse at the opposite pole of the T cell. This structure appears during the first minute after the contact forms, is transient and contains all the classic components that have been previously described at the immunological synapse. Its formation is independent of antigen recognition but is driven by adhesion itself. It constitutes a reservoir of signaling molecules that are potentially ready to be sent to the immunological synapse through a microtubule-dependent pathway. The antisynapse can thus be considered as a pre-synapse that is triggered independently of antigen recognition.

Keywords: Adhesion; Immunological synapse; T lymphocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology*
  • Cell Communication / genetics
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunological Synapses / genetics*
  • Jurkat Cells / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell