A lymphocyte cell surface molecule that is antigenically related to actin

S. K. Sanders, S. W. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


When viable murine lymphocytes are incubated sequentially with a saturating amount of affinity-purified, rabbit anti-actin and highly conjugated FITC-goat anti-rabbit Ig, about 52% of mesenteric lymph node (MLN) lymphocytes and 36% of thymocytes exhibit a faint, but sharply punctate surface fluorescence. Cell surface actin (CSA) can be distinguished from staining of cytoplasmic actin in permeable cells, which are identified by their uptake of ethidium bromide. Staining of actin in ethidium bromide-permeable cells is 10-fold more intense than staining of actin on ethidium bromide-impermeable cells and is seen as uniformly fluorescent rings or crescents at the periphery of the cell and as dimmer, diffuse fluorescence centrally. Binding of rabbit anti-actin and goat anti-rabbit Ig to the lymphocyte cell surface is not mediated by Fc receptors; F(ab')2 fragments of these antibodies detect the same number of positive cells as do the intact molecules, and affinity-purified anti-KLH does not bind significantly. The cell surface stain, measured by flow cytometry or fluorescence microscopy, can be absorbed by pretreatment of the anti-actin with immobilized actin but not with IgG-Sepharose. Double-label experiments show that about 70% of the non-B cells and 30% of the MLN B cells bear detectable CSA. Although we have not ascertained the origin of CSA, we find that the number and brightness of cells exhibiting CSA cannot be increased by preincubatng the cells with exogenous native skeletal muscle actin or with supernatant from dissociated MLN, indicating that there are no free binding sites for exogenous actin. The findings imply that either there is a developmentally expressed binding site(s) for actin, or that at various stages of development lymphocytes express a protein antigenically related to actin on their surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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