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J Immunol. 2001 Feb 15;166(4):2495-504.

Comparison of a T cell clone and of T cells from a TCR transgenic mouse: TCR transgenic T cells specific for self-antigen are atypical.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


It has been widely assumed that T cells from TCR-transgenic (Tg) mice better represent the behavior of T cells from normal mice than do in vitro cultures of T cell clones. We have found that autoreactive T cells arising in the presumably more physiological environment of the BDC-2.5 TCR-Tg mouse, despite being apparently "naive" in surface phenotype, are highly activated functionally and do not resemble CD4(+) T cells from a spontaneously diabetic nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse or the NOD-derived, diabetogenic CD4(+) T cell clone of origin, BDC-2.5. Our results suggest that autoreactive T cells cloned from the spontaneously diabetic NOD mouse more closely resemble effector T cells arising during the natural disease process.

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