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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 276498, 9 pages
Research Article

NSOM/QD-Based Visualization of GM1 Serving as Platforms for TCR/CD3 Mediated T-Cell Activation

1Laboratory of Nanophotonic Functional Materials and Devices, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China
2Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Center for Primate Biomedical Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 19 May 2013; Revised 5 September 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Enzo Terreno

Copyright © 2013 Liyun Zhong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Direct molecular imaging of nanoscale relationship between T-cell receptor complexes (TCR/CD3) and gangliosidosis GM1 before and after T-cell activation has not been reported. In this study, we made use of our expertise of near-field scanning optical microscopy(NSOM)/immune-labeling quantum dots- (QD-)based dual-color imaging system to visualize nanoscale profiles for distribution and organization of TCR/CD3, GM1, as well as their nanospatial relationship and their correlation with PKCθ signaling cascade during T-cell activation. Interestingly, after anti-CD3/anti-CD28 Ab co-stimulation, both TCR/CD3 and GM1 were clustered to form nanodomains; moreover, all of TCR/CD3 nanodomains were colocalized with GM1 nanodomains, indicating that the formation of GM1 nanodomains was greatly correlated with TCR/CD3 mediated signaling. Specially, while T-cells were pretreated with PKCθ signaling inhibitor rottlerin to suppress IL-2 cytokine production, no visible TCR/CD3 nanodomains appeared while a lot of GM1 nanodomains were still observed. However, while T-cells are pretreated with PKCαβ signaling inhibitor GÖ6976 to suppress calcium-dependent manner, all of TCR/CD3 nanodomains were still colocalized with GM1 nanodomains. These findings possibly support the notion that the formation of GM1 nanodomains indeed serves as platforms for the recruitment of TCR/CD3 nanodomains, and TCR/CD3 nanodomains are required for PKCθ signaling cascades and T-cell activation