MHC class I-hormone receptor associations: still a physiological enigma?

Acta Physiol Pharmacol Ther Latinoam. 1994;44(3):55-64.


Besides the important role of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I molecules n physiologically restricting immune responses, they seem to play a non-immunological function by the molecular association with several hormone receptors (R). Among the hormone R and class I antigen (Ag) interactions, insulin R, epidermal growth factor (EGF) R, interleukin-2 (IL-2) R, luteinizing (LH) hormone R, beta adrenergic R and muscarinic cholinergic R were described in several human and animal models. Evidences from immunoprecipitation assays, binding assays and immunofluorescence techniques pointed to the molecular association of all of these R with class I molecules on cellular surfaces. Only for beta adrenergic R, muscarinic cholinergic R and LH-R, antibodies directed against class I products were described to exert the activation of these R leading to the production of intracellular second messengers and consequently modifying the physiology of the corresponding cell. This was also obtained on insulin R with peptides derived from class I molecules. The selectivity or R involved in all studied cellular types, should find its explanation in the physiological importance of the considered R for the indicated cell. The participation of cytoskeletal proteins on these interactions and the proximity on cell surfaces between both molecules, probably managed by ligand-mediated microaggregation, are also facts to be taken into account to better understand the biological consequences of these interactions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / chemistry
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / physiology
  • Genes, MHC Class I / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Insulin / chemistry
  • Receptor, Insulin / physiology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / chemistry
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / physiology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / physiology
  • Receptors, LH / chemistry
  • Receptors, LH / physiology
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / chemistry
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / physiology
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / chemistry
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / physiology


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, LH
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Receptor, Insulin