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Developmental status and reconstitution potential of subpopulations of murine thymocytes.
In this chapter we have summarized our view of the subsets of murine CD4- CD8- thymocytes which can be identified with a range of monoclonal antibodies. We have shown the division rate and turnover time of the main subsets and have listed what we know of the TcR gene rearrangement, and expression at the RNA and protein levels. We have been unable to completely segregate gamma delta-TcR-expressing cells from alpha beta-TcR-expressing cells by any of the markers we have used, although the proportions of the two receptor forms vary widely in the different subsets. Experiments involving intrathymic transfer of the CD4- CD8- subsets are described, which indicate that all the TcR- subsets of the CD4- CD8- thymocytes display some precursor activity and which suggest a progression of at least five stages through the TcR- subpopulations of CD4- CD8- cells. The earliest precursor is a Thy 1 low, HSA low, Pgp-1 high cell which has unrearranged C beta and is non-dividing and which closely resembles the bone marrow prothymocyte. The later precursors are Thy 1 high, HSA high, Pgp-1 low, have rearranged C beta and are rapidly dividing. We tentatively conclude that none of the TcR+ CD4- CD8- cells are precursors of the major thymocyte subsets or of typical peripheral T cells, and we have found no evidence so far of separate precursors for the different mature subsets of thymocytes or peripheral T cells.
Animals, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Phenotype, Stem Cells/classification, Stem Cells/immunology, T-Lymphocytes/classification, T-Lymphocytes/immunology, Thymus Gland/cytology, Thymus Gland/immunology
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