We have used double-immunofluorescence labeling to determine the surface distributions of LFA-1 and CD4, and the intracellular distributions of the cytoskeletal protein talin and of the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) of cloned Th cells in 1:1 cell couples with antigen (Ag)-specific APC of the B cell type (B-APC). The Th cell was directed to a peptide fragment of the Ag OVA in the context of IAd. The B-APC was the transfected A20 B hybridoma cell A20-HL, bearing on its surface a surface Ig specific for the hapten TNP, and pulsed with different concentrations of DNP-OVA. At sufficiently high doses of DNP-OVA (greater than 100 ng/ml), in essentially all couples, LFA-1, CD4, and talin were each concentrated at the Th cell membrane where it was in contact with the B-APC, and the MTOC inside the Th cell was reoriented to face the contact region. At lower doses of DNP-OVA (between 50 and 10 ng/ml), in all couples, LFA-1 and talin were concentrated at the Th/B-APC contact region, but the extent of CD4 clustering, MTOC reorientation, and Th cell proliferation all decreased with decreasing Ag dose. With no Ag, none of these effects was observed. These and other data indicate that two distinct signals are received by the Th cell that is specifically bound to its B-APC. The first signal, at low Ag doses, stimulates a linkage of LFA-1 and talin in the Th cell, and a specific LFA-1-mediated intercellular adhesion; the second signal, at higher Ag doses, is required to induce Th cell proliferation, with which the Th-MTOC reorientation and CD4 clustering are correlated.

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