T cell activation deficiency associated with an aberrant pattern of protein tyrosine phosphorylation after CD3 perturbation in Down's syndrome.
Children affected by Down's syndrome (DS) have an increased susceptibility to viral or bacterial infections and leukemia, associated with several abnormalities of the immune system. We investigated whether the T cell defect was qualitative in nature and associated with abnormalities of the early events occurring during cell activation. The proliferative response of lymphocytes from DS individuals after CD3 cross-linking was clearly depressed, as already reported. In contrast, phorbol ester and ionomycin were able to induce cell cycle progression in DS, suggesting a defect in the early stages of the signal transduction through a T cell receptor/CD3 (TCR/CD3) complex upstream of protein kinase C activation. The functional impairment in DS was not related either to a decrease of circulating mature-type CD3+ cells, which express high levels of surface of CD3 molecules, or to a decrease of the CD4+ subpopulation. The analysis of phosphotyrosine-containing proteins after the cross-linking of CD3 molecules in DS lymphocytes revealed a partial signaling, characterized by increased phosphorylation of proteins of 42-44 kD, comparable to that observed in control subjects, but not of proteins of 70 and 21 kD. Moreover, although the "anti-anergic" gamma element of IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, and IL-15 receptors was normally tyrosine-phosphorylated during cell activation, the CD3 zeta-associated protein kinase (ZAP-70) was not. Our results indicate that in DS there is a T cell activation defect, characterized by partial signal transduction through a TCR/CD3 complex, and associated with a selective failure of ZAP-70 tyrosine phosphorylation.
Scotese, I; Gaetaniello, L; Matarese, G; Lecora, M; Racioppi, L; Pignata, C
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