Antigen-specific regulation of CD1 expression in humans

Marina Ulanova, Andrej Tarkowski, Steven A. Porcelli, Lars Å Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


During the last decade the CD1 family of cell surface glycoproteins has been implicated in the presentation of nonpeptide antigens in man. Recent findings by our group indicate that CD1 molecules also can be involved in the presentation of certain bacterial proteins. However, CD1a, b, and c (group 1 CD1 molecules) are not present at significant levels on circulating monocytes unless their expression is induced by cytokines such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). In this study we investigated the cell surface expression of CD1 molecules following the antigenic stimulation in vivo via immunization of healthy volunteers with tetanus toxoid vaccine and in vitro cell cultures using the same antigen. Both the in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated clear up-regulation of the surface expression of CD1a, b, and c on monocytes as a result of antigenic stimulation with tetanus toxoid, supporting the idea that CD1 molecules participate in the presentation of this protein antigen in man. In vitro, antigen-triggered expression of these molecules was mediated by GM-CSF, since neutralization of this cytokine with specific antibody totally abrogated CD1a, b, and c expression. In contrast to the group 1 CD1 molecules, CD1d was found to be constitutively expressed on the majority of circulating monocytes and B lymphocytes prior to immunization. There was no effect of antigenic stimulation with tetanus toxoid on the cell surface expression of CD1d, suggesting major differences in regulation of the expression and function of the different CD1 molecules in humans. Altogether our results point to antigen-driven up-regulation of CD1a, b, and c expression on human monocytes that is mediated by GM-CSF and no effect on CD1d expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • CD1
  • GM-CSF
  • Monocytes
  • Tetanus toxoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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