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Int Immunol. 2004 Aug;16(8):1109-24. Epub 2004 Jun 21.

Gene expression profiles during human CD4+ T cell differentiation.

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  • 1Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94141, USA.

Abstract

To develop a comprehensive catalogue of phenotypic and functional parameters of human CD4(+) T cell differentiation stages, we have performed microarray gene expression profiling on subpopulations of human thymocytes and circulating naive CD4(+) T cells, including CD3(-)CD4(+)CD8(-) intrathymic T progenitor cells, CD3(int)CD4(+)CD8(+) 'double positive' thymocytes, CD3(high)CD4(+)CD8(-) 'single positive' thymocytes, CD3(+)CD4(+)CD8(-) CD45RA(+)CD62L(+) naive T cells from cord blood and CD3(+)CD4(+)CD8(-) CD45RA(+)CD62L(+) naive T cells from adult blood. These subpopulations were sort-purified to >98% purity and their expressed RNAs were analyzed on Affymetrix Human Genome U133 arrays. Comparison of gene expression signals between these subpopulations and with early passage fetal thymic stromal cultures identify: (i) transcripts that are preferentially expressed in human CD4(+) T cell subpopulations and not in thymic stromal cells; (ii) major shifts in gene expression as progenitor T cells mature into progeny; (iii) preferential expression of transcripts at the progenitor cell stage with plausible relevance to the regulation of expansion and differentiation of these cells; and (iv) preferential expression of potential markers of recent thymic emigrants in naive-phenotype CD4(+) T cells from cord blood. Further evaluation of these findings may lead to a better definition of human thymopoiesis as well as to improved approaches to monitor and to augment the function of this important organ of T cell production.

PMID:
15210650
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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