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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jan 15;89(2):653-7.

Most gamma delta T cells develop normally in beta 2-microglobulin-deficient mice.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The specificity of T cells bearing gamma delta T-cell receptors (gamma delta+ T cells) is poorly characterized. Earlier studies suggest that like alpha beta+CD8+ T cells, some gamma delta+ T cells may recognize antigens associated with class I major histocompatibility complex molecules. alpha beta+CD8+ T cells are nearly absent in class I-deficient mice (mutant for beta 2-microglobulin), reflecting a requirement for intrathymic "positive selection" of these cells by class I molecules. Here, we examine whether the development of gamma delta+ T cells is altered in the beta 2-microglobulin mutant mice. We show that the cellularity, marker expression, repertoire, and functional competence of gamma delta+ T cells are not detectably deficient in beta 2-microglobulin mutant mice. We conclude that class I expression is unnecessary for the development of most gamma delta+ T cells.

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