Crosslinking CD81 results in activation of TCRγδ T cells

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 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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