Cell adhesion mediated by CD4 and MHC class II proteins requires active cellular processes

M. S. Kinch, J. L. Strominger, C. Doyle

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32 Scopus citations


Human CD4 is an accessory molecule found on the cell surface of a subset of T lymphocytes. We have previously shown by infection of simian fibroblasts with an SV40-CD4 recombinant virus that CD4 acts as an adhesion molecule by binding to human MHC class II Ag expressed on the surface of human B lymphocytes. This report confirms that human B lymphoblastoid cell lines expressing class II molecules at the cell surface can bind to Chinese hamster ovary cells that have been stably transfected with human CD4. This cellular adhesion is a late event, which is first detected after 2 h, but remains stable for up to 16 h. The association between CD4 and class II is energy dependent, as it is detected at 37°C, but not at 4°C or if either cell type is fixed with paraformaldehyde. ATP is required for the establishment and maintenance of stable CD4/class II-mediated cell conjugates. Cytoskeletal interactions also regulate CD4/class II adhesion as treatment with the microtubule and microfilament inhibitors colchidne, cytochalasin-D, and nocodazole rapidly dissociates even preformed cell conjugates. Our observations also indicate that the Ag-independent engagement of class II by CD4 induces homotypic clustering of human B cells. This effect is blocked by reagents directed against lymphocyte function-associated Ag-1 and may result from the induction of a high affinity phenotype of lymphocyte function-associated Ag-1 induced by class II signaling. Finally, we discuss the implications of CD4/class II-mediated adhesion and the role of CD4 in the regulation of T cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4552-4561
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993


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