Recent studies suggest that some T and B lymphocyte cell lines bind to the integrin lymphocyte function-associated molecule 1 (LFA-1) chiefly through a pathway independent of its two known counter-receptors, intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs)-1 and -2. A monoclonal antibody (mAb) was raised that, in combination with blocking mAb to ICAM-1 and ICAM-2, can completely inhibit binding of these cell lines to purified LFA-1. This third ligand, designated ICAM-3 based on its functional relatedness to ICAM-1 and -2, is a highly glycosylated protein of 124,000 Mr. It is well expressed on all leukocytes and absent from endothelial cells. In assays of adhesion of resting lymphocytes to purified LFA-1, ICAM-3 is by far the most functionally important ICAM, implying an important role for ICAM-3 in the generation of immune responses.

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