Lipoic acid downmodulates CD4 from human T lymphocytes by dissociation of p56Lck

Gail H. Marracci, Whitney E. Marquardt, Adrienne Strehlow, Gabriel P. McKeon, Jonathan Gross, David C. Buck, Laura B. Kozell, Dennis N. Bourdette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that suppresses and treats a model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. We now demonstrate that treatment of human PBMC and T cell lines with LA downmodulated CD4 expression in a concentration-dependent manner. LA treatment of Con A stimulated PBMC specifically removed CD4 from the T-cell surface, but not CD3. Epitope masking by LA was excluded by using monoclonal antibodies targeting different domains of CD4. Incubation on ice inhibited CD4 removal following LA treatment, suggesting that endocytosis was involved in its downmodulation. LA is in a unique category of compounds that induce CD4 downmodulation by various mechanisms (e.g., gangliosides). We hypothesized that LA might induce dissociation of p56Lck from CD4, thus leading to its downmodulation. Immunoblot analyses demonstrated reduced co-precipitation of p56Lck from Jurkat T-cells following LA treatment and precipitation of CD4. This unique immunomodulatory effect of LA warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-971
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 9 2006


  • CD4
  • Lipoic acid
  • p56

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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