Article: article from journal or magazin.
Quantitative impact of thymic clonal deletion on the T cell repertoire.
The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Interactions between major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules expressed on stromal cells and antigen-specific receptors on T cells shape the repertoire of mature T lymphocytes emerging from the thymus. Some thymocytes with appropriate receptors are stimulated to undergo differentiation to the fully mature state (positive selection), whereas others with strongly autoreactive receptors are triggered to undergo programmed cell death before completing this differentiation process (negative selection). The quantitative impact of negative selection on the potentially available repertoire is currently unknown. To address this issue, we have constructed radiation bone marrow chimeras in which MHC molecules are present on radioresistant thymic epithelial cells (to allow positive selection) but absent from radiosensitive hematopoietic elements responsible for negative selection. In such chimeras, the number of mature thymocytes was increased by twofold as compared with appropriate control chimeras This increase in steady-state numbers of mature thymocytes was not related to proliferation, increased retention, or recirculation and was accompanied by a similar two- to threefold increase in the de novo rate of generation of mature cells. Taken together, our data indicate that half to two-thirds of the thymocytes able to undergo positive selection die before full maturation due to negative selection.
Animals, Antigens, CD4/analysis, Antigens, CD8/analysis, Clonal Deletion, Histocompatibility Antigens/physiology, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, T-Lymphocytes/immunology, Thymus Gland/immunology
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