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J Immunol. 2000 Oct 1;165(7):3680-8.

A profound deficiency in thymic progenitor cells in mice lacking Jak3.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01655, USA.


Humans and mice with genetic deficiencies that lead to loss of signaling through common gamma-chain (gammac)-containing cytokine receptors have severe defects in B and T lymphocytes. In humans, these deficiencies lead to a complete absence of T cells, whereas in mice, small thymuses give rise to normal numbers of peripheral T cells. We have examined the first wave of developing T cells in Jak3-/-, IL-7-/-, and IL-7Ralpha-/- fetal mice, and have found a near absence of thymic progenitor cells. This deficiency is highlighted by the complete inability of Jak3-/- progenitor cells to reconstitute T cell development in the presence of competing wild-type cells. These data clearly demonstrate a strong common basis for the T cell deficiencies in mice and humans lacking gammac/Jak3 signaling pathways.

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