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The LFA-1 leucocyte integrin is known to participate in natural killer (NK) cytolytic activity, mediating effector target interactions. The possibility that LFA-1 may also play an active regulatory role in NK cells has been explored. To this end, we have employed a monoclonal antibody (HP1N) raised against recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2)-activated NK cells, which recognizes the alpha chain of the LFA-1 heterodimer (CD11a). In contrast to other anti-CD11a mAb the HP1N and its F(ab')2 fragment did not affect NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity and triggered a strong homotypic adhesion of NK cells and other LFA-1+ cells. Cellular aggregation was inhibited by anti-CD18 mAb, anti-ICAM-1 mAb, and other anti-CD11a mAb. Remarkably, the HP1N mAb was also shown to induce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production from NK cells upon costimulation with anti-CD16 mAb. Such an effect appeared to be independent from homotypic adhesion since it took place in Mg(2+)-free medium, where NK cell aggregation was inhibited. Moreover, incubation with the HP1N mAb triggered a Ca2+ influx into the cytosol; this effect was clearly observed upon cross-linking of cell bound HP1N and was also substantiated with other anti LFA-1 (CD11a and CD18) mAb. Taken together these results indicate that the LFA-1 molecule is capable of transducing signals in NK cells, which regulate the intercellular interaction with its ligand, and enhance the activation via Fc gamma receptor type III.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of immunology

Publication Date





1859 - 1865


Sección de Immunología, Hospital de la Princesa, Madrid-Spain.


Killer Cells, Natural, Cell Line, Humans, Calcium, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1, Receptors, IgG, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Cell Adhesion, Signal Transduction, Cell Aggregation