Thrombospondin 1, an autocrine regulator in T cell adhesion and migration

University dissertation from Umeå : Klinisk mikrobiologi

Abstract: Lymphocytes, the principal cells of the immune system, perform the immune function throughout the body by their unique capacity to circulate in blood stream and lymphatic vessels and migrate in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. The mechanisms regulating lymphocyte adhesion and migration, interactions with cells and components within the extracellular matrix are not fully understood. The aim of this work has been to elucidate molecular mechanisms governing T lymphocyte adhesion and migration by endogenous molecules.The studies presented in this thesis have shown that thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is expressed in T lymphocytes with a high turnover, manifested by variable cell surface expression, and is regulated by SDF-1a, adhesion to fibronectin and collagen type IV. The TSP-1 binding site of calreticulin (CRT), spanning amino acid 19-32, was shown to be a major triggering factor for T cell migration within a three-dimensional collagen type 1 matrix. The chemokine SDF-1a stimulated migration via a calreticulin-TSP-1 pathway. Endogenous calreticulin binding to the N-terminal domain of endogenous TSP-1 elicited a motogenic signal to the T cells through the C-terminal domain of TSP-1 and its cell surface receptor integrin-associated protein (IAP, CD47). Inhibition experiments of ligand binding of CD91 by receptor associated protein (RAP) and small interfering RNA technology indicated that CD91 is an important factor in TSP-1-mediated T cell adhesion and migration. These results unveil an autocrine mechanism of CRT-TSP-1-CD47-CD91 interaction for the control of T cell motility and migration within 3D extracellular matrix substrata.The data demonstrated that T cell adhesion and migration are sequential events governed by a series of interacting cell surface molecules comprising a CRT-TSP-1-CD47-CD91 pathway where endogenous TSP-1 functions as the hub. Ligation of the CD3/T cell antigen receptor complex determines T cell adhesion through this mechanism. CRT interaction with the N-terminal domain of TSP-1 elicits cytoplasmic spreading, and augments adhesion, while a counter-adhesive motogenic pathway, triggering interaction of the C-terminal domain of TSP-1, induces migration. CD91-dependent internalization of TSP-1 is a crucial event of this motogenic pathway.In conclusion, the studies provide a novel mechanism governing T cell adhesion and migration within extracellular matrix substrata.