Crosslinking CD81 results in activation of TCRγδ T cells

Chien Te K. Tseng, Emil Miskovsky, Gary R. Klimpel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


CD81 is expressed on most cells and is associated with other glycoproteins, including CD4 and CD8, to form multimolecular membrane complexes. Crosslinking of CD81 on TCRαβ+ T cells results in costimulatory signals that have been proposed to be mediated via CD4 or CD8. In this study, we show that CD81 is also expressed on TCRγδ+CD4-CD8- T cells. CD81 crosslinking greatly enhanced anti-CD3 activation of both TCRαβ+ (CD4+ and CD8+) and TCRγδ+ T cells with regard to IFN-γ production. However, crosslinking of CD81 molecules on TCRγδ+ T cells, in the absence of anti-CD3 stimulation, resulted in cytokine production and enhanced IL-2-induced proliferation, demonstrating that physical association with CD4 or CD8 is not necessary for CD81 signaling. In contrast, crosslinking of CD81 on TCRαβ+ T cells, in the absence of anti-CD3 stimulation, failed to activate these T cells. These results suggest that CD81 signaling may be mediated via a different mechanism(s) in TCRγδ+ versus TCRαβ+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2001


  • Cytokine
  • IFN-γ
  • T cell activation
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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