The leukocyte integrins (CD11/CD18 or beta 2-type integrins) are expressed exclusively on leukocytes and participate in many adhesion-dependent functions (Arnaout, M.A. 1990. Blood. 75:1037-1050; Springer, T. A. 1990. Nature. (Lond.) 346:425-434; Dustin, M. L., and T. S. Springer. 1991. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 9:27-66). The avidity of leukocyte integrin binding to their ligands or counter-receptors is dependent upon response to intracellular signals (Wright, S. D., and B. C. Meyer. 1986. J. Immunol. 136:1759-1764; Dustin, M. A., and T. S. Springer. 1989. Nature (Lond.). 341:619-624). We have investigated the effects of a novel mAb (mAb 24) which defines a leukocyte integrin alpha subunit epitope that is Mg(2+)-dependent and may be used as a "reporter" of the activation state of these receptors (Dransfield, I., and N. Hogg. 1989. EMBO (Eur. Mol. Biol. Organ) J. 8:3759-3765; Dransfield, I., A.-M. Buckle, and N. Hogg. 1990. Immunol. Rev. 114:29-44; Dransfield, I., C. Cabañas, A. Craig, and N. Hogg. 1992. J. Cell Biol.) Data is presented to show that this mAb inhibits monocyte-dependent, antigen-specific T cell proliferation and IL-2-activated natural killer cell assays which are both dependent on lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), and complement receptor type 3 (CR3)-mediated neutrophil chemotaxis to f-Met-Leu-Phe. This inhibitory effect is not caused by the prevention of receptor/ligand binding because LFA-1/ICAM-1, LFA-1/ICAM-2,3 and CR3/iC3b interactions are, under activating conditions, promoted rather than blocked by mAb 24. As it does not interfere with mitogen-stimulated T cell proliferation, it is unlikely that mAb 24 transduces a "negative" or antiproliferative signal to the T cells to which it is bound. Using a model system of transient activation of LFA-1, we have found that mAb 24 prevents "deadhesion" of receptor/ligand pairs, possibly locking leukocyte integrins in an "active" conformation. It is speculated that inhibition of leukocyte integrin function by this mAb reflects the necessity for dynamic leukocyte integrin/ligand interactions.
The integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) expressed on T cells serves as a useful model for analysis of leukocyte integrin functional activity. We have assessed the role of divalent cations Mg2+, Ca2+, and Mn2+ in LFA-1 binding to ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and induction of the divalent cation-dependent epitope recognized by mAb 24. Manganese strongly promoted both expression of the 24 epitope and T cell binding to ICAM-1 via LFA-1, suggesting that Mn2+ is able to directly alter the conformation of LFA-1 in a manner that favors ligand binding. Since Mn2+ also promotes functional activity of other integrins, parallels in mechanism of ligand binding may span the integrin family. In contrast, induction of 24 epitope expression by Mg2+ required removal of Ca2+ from T cell LFA-1 with EGTA. Furthermore, binding of mAb 24 to T cell LFA-1 in the presence of either Mn2+ or Mg2+ was found to be specifically inhibited by Ca2+, suggestive of a negative regulatory role for Ca2+ in the control of leukocyte integrin function. Analysis of T cell binding to ICAM-1 via LFA-1 in the presence of Mg2+ or Mn2+, confirmed that Ca2+ exerted inhibitory effects upon LFA-1 function. The implication of our findings is that Ca2+ bound with relatively high affinity to LFA-1 may serve to maintain an inactive state. Thus induction of function and 24 epitope expression may occur as a result of displacement of Ca2+ from leukocyte integrins or alternatively, such activators may be able to impose the required conformational change in the presence of bound Ca2+.