Molecular mechanisms involved in T cell activation. III. The role of extracellular calcium in antigen-induced lymphokine production and interleukin 2-induced proliferation of cloned cytotoxic T lymphocytes

David T. Harris, W. J. Kozumbo, J. E. Testa, P. A. Cerutti, J. C. Cerottini

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10 Scopus citations


The role that extracellular calcium plays in activating resting cloned cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) to proliferate and to produce lymphokines was examined. In these cells, stimulation with interleukin 2 (IL-2) induced a proliferative response without a concomitant production of macrophage-activating factor (MAF), whereas stimulation with antigen or lectin (in the absence of IL-2) induced MAF production but not proliferation. In the case of IL-2-induced proliferation, extracellular calcium was required to initiate proliferation as well as to prevent cellular arrest later in the G2 + M phase of the cell cycle. In MAF production extracellular calcium was required both to activate the phosphatidylinositol signal-transducing mechanism and to mobilize intracellular calcium in antigen- or lectin-stimulated cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Further, extracellular calcium was required for only 8 of the 18 hr of stimulation time which was needed to achieve maximal MAF production, indicating that both calcium-dependent and -independent events exist in the signal pathway. Additional experiments with calcium ionophores and activators of protein kinase C indicated that although both intracellular calcium mobilization and de novo protein phosphorylation are involved in MAF production, an optimal increase in the level of intracellular calcium by itself is insufficient to induce the production of this lymphokine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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