Extensive cd4 cross-linking inhibits t cell activation by anti-receptor antibody but not by antigen

Umberto Dianzani, Andrey Shaw, Maria Fernandez-Cabezudo, Charles A. Janeway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Anti-CD4 mAbs have been shown to inhibit T cell activation in a variety of ways. We have tested a panel of IgG and IgM anti-CD4 mAbs for their effects on the activation of a cloned T cell line by antigen presented by syngeneic accessory cells, by soluble anti-T cell receptor antibodies, and by mitogenic lectins. Both IgM and IgG mAbs to CD4 inhibit responses to mitogenic lectins. However, IgM, but not IgG, anti-CD4 antibodies inhibit T cell activation by mAbs specific for the TCR. This inhibitory activity appears to be due to the signaling effects of IgM mAbs, as cross- linked IgG antibodies mimick the behavior of the IgM anti-CD4 antibodies. Inhibition of T cell activation correlates with the ability of IgM and of cross-linked IgG anti-CD4 antibodies to induce tyrosine phosphorylation of the CD4-associated tyrosine kinase p56'cB and an unknown substrate, pp32. Surprisingly, we find that the IgM anti-CD4 mAbs tested had no effect on the specific antigen recognition, despite their potent inhibitory effects on the other responses of the same cloned T cell line. These results suggest that multivalent CD4 interactions with ligands such as MHC class II molecules are inhibitory of T cell activation, but that this inhibition can be reversed when CD4 and the TCR bind the same ligand. We discuss the possible implications for positive intrathymic selection of these findings on signaling through CD4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1001
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cd4
  • Negative signal
  • TCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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