Comparison of Fas- versus perforin-mediated pathways of cytotoxicity in TCR- and Thy-1-activated murine T cells

Hidefumi Kojima, Masahiro Toda, Michail V. Sitkovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


T cell-mediated cytotoxicity can be triggered by cross-linking of TCR or Thy-1 surface proteins. While the TCR-triggered signaling initiates both perforin- and Fas ligand (FasL)-Fas-mediated mechanisms of cytotoxicity, it was not clear which mechanism was utilized by Thy-1-triggered signals and which pathway of cytotoxicity was triggered at low levels of antigen expression. It is shown that glycophosphatidylinositol-linked surface glycoprotein Thy-1 preferentially activates FasL-Fas- but not perforin-mediated cytotoxicity. This is explained by the lesser intensity of Thy-1-mediated signaling in T cells. The data suggest that Thy-1-triggered Fas-mediated cytotoxicity is completely dependent on cross-talk between Thy-1 and TCR signals since mutations in TCR-CD3 complex molecules or inhibition of tyrosine kinases or calcineurin abolished or strongly inhibited Thy-1-triggered FasL-Fas-mediated cytotoxicity. Lower concentrations of antigenic peptide or levels of cross-linking with anti-TCR-CD3 mAb are required to trigger Fas-mediated than perforin-mediated cytotoxicity by different cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) lines and clones, and it is shown that cross-linking of Thy-1 is much less efficient in triggering accumulation of second messengers (intracellular Ca2+) than cross-linking of TCR on CTL. Taken together, these data reflect the possibility of differential activation of FasL and/or perforin pathways of cytotoxicity depending on the nature of activating stimuli and surface receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalInternational immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cytotoxic T lymphocyte
  • Fas ligand
  • Perforin
  • Retargeting
  • TCR
  • Thy-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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