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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60175. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060175. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Contrasted TCRβ diversity of CD8+ and CD8- T cells in rainbow trout.

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  • 1Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


Teleost fish express highly diverse naive TCRβ (TRB) repertoires and mount strong public and private clonal responses upon infection with pathogens. Fish T cells express typical markers such as CD8, CD4-1 and CD4-2, CD3, CD28 and CTLA4. Fish CD8(+) T cells have been shown to be responsible for antigen-specific cell-mediated cytotoxicity in in vitro systems using histo-compatible effector and target cells. We compare here the complexity of TRB repertoires between FACS sorted CD8(+) and CD8(-) T cells from spleen and pronephros of rainbow trout. In contrast to human, while the TRB repertoire is highly diverse and polyclonal in CD8(+) T cells of naïve fish, it appeared very different in CD8(-) lymphocytes with irregular CDR3 length distributions suggesting a dominance of activated clones already in naïve fish or the presence of non conventional T cells. After infection with a systemic virus, CD8(+) T cells mount a typical response with significant skewing of CDR3 length profiles. The infection also induces significant modifications of the TRB repertoire expressed by the CD8(-) fraction, but for a different set of V/J combinations. In this fraction, the antiviral response results in an increase of the peak diversity of spectratypes. This unusual observation reflects the presence of a number of T cell expansions that rise the relative importance of minor peaks of the highly skewed distributions observed in unchallenged animals. These results suggest that the diversity of TRB expressed by CD8(+) and CD8(-) αβ T cells may be subjected to different regulatory patterns in fish and in mammals.

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