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A murine early thymocyte developmental sequence is marked by transient expression of the interleukin 2 receptor.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Precursors of all T-lineage cells are found in the population of thymocytes that lacks the CD4 and CD8 surface markers. These "double-negative" thymocytes are heterogeneous and can be divided into discrete subpopulations based on their expression of other surface markers. We have determined the relative maturity of these subpopulations based on the extent of rearrangement and expression of their T-cell receptor genes, their cell cycle status, and their thymus reconstitution capacity. Within the subpopulation of double negatives expressing high levels of the heat-stable antigen, the additional markers phagocytic glycoprotein 1 (Pgp-1) and interleukin 2 receptor (IL-2R) can be used to define the sequence IL-2R- Pgp-1+----IL-2R+ Pgp-1-----IL-2R- Pgp-1-, which occurs before the expression of CD4 and CD8. Transient expression of the IL-2R marks an important developmental point in the sequence just prior to a burst of cell proliferation and a loss of thymus reconstitution ability. The earliest cells in this sequence are already partially rearranged for genes in the C beta 1 region. IL-2R expression marks a second wave of T-cell antigen receptor of beta-chain gene rearrangement and the initiation of T-cell antigen receptor alpha- and beta-chain gene expression.
Animals, Antigens, CD8, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/genetics, Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte, Interleukin-2/metabolism, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, RNA, Messenger/genetics, Receptors, Interleukin-2/genetics, T-Lymphocytes/classification, T-Lymphocytes/immunology, Transcription, Genetic
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