The majority of postselection CD4+ single-positive thymocytes requires the thymus to produce long-lived, functional t cells

Rubendra Dyall, Janko Nikolić-Žugić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have previously isolated, and characterized in vitro, two subsets of CD4hi T cell receptor (TCR)hi single positive (SP) thymocytes: CD8 and CD810 In this report, we tlave analyzed phenotypic, functional, and developmental characteristics of these "late" CD4hi SP thymocyte subsets. The TCK h-phenotype and the elimination of T cells expressing TCK Vß segments reactive with endogenous mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) products suggested that both subsets had undergone positive and negative selection. CD8-4hi thymocytes were functional, as judged by their ability to: (a) induce lethal graft versus host disease (GVHD); (b) survive and expand in peripheral lymphoid organs; and (c) proliferate, rather than undergo apoptosis, in response to in vitro TCK cross-linking. By contrast, CD8104hi cells could not induce GVHD, were unable to expand (and perhaps even survive) in peripheral organs and underwent apoptosis upon TCK cross-linking. However, when reintroduced into the thymus, these cells matured into functional, long-lived CD8-4hi lymphocytes. These results document an obligatory requirement for the thymic microenvironment in the final maturation of the majority of CD8104hi SP postselection thymocytes, and demonstrate the existence of a previously unrecognized control point in T cell development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume181
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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