Resting T lymphocytes proliferate in response to a combination of a calcium ionophore and a phorbol ester. This observation suggests that an increase in intracellular calcium free ion concentration [Ca2+](i) and activation of protein kinase C (PKC) are sufficient signaling events for the initiation of T cell proliferation. In contrast, an accessory cell-generated costimulatory signal, acting independently of the rise in [Ca2+](i) and PKC activation, is required for Ag-induced proliferation of type I T cell clones. We now report that this costimulatory signal is unexpectedly also being delivered via a cell-cell interaction during the response to ionomycin and phorbol ester. In the absence of this signal (at limiting cell numbers), T cells fail to divide. We also demonstrate that proliferation in response to immobilized anti-CD3 mAb requires the cell-cell interaction. These results suggest a model of T cell stimulation in which activation of a costimulatory signaling pathway is important in the regulation of the IL-2 gene, and only in the presence of this (third) signal can an increase in [Ca2+](i) and PKC activity induce T cell proliferation. Such a model predicts that IL-2-dependent expansion of T cell clones in vivo in response to Ag receptor occupancy requires the delivery of an independent accessory cell-derived costimulatory signal.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|