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J Immunol. 1995 May 1;154(9):4395-403.

Expression and function of mouse Fas antigen on immature and mature T cells.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Basic Research Laboratories, JT Inc., Yokohama, Japan.


We prepared mAbs specific for the mouse Fas Ag (CD95) and used them to analyze the expression and apoptosis-inducing activity of the Fas Ag on murine immunocytes. Cytofluorometry of mouse bone marrow, thymus, and splenocytes using the mAbs indicated that cells of the T lineage, except for bone marrow cells, expressed Fas Ag on the surface. CD4-CD8- undifferentiated thymocytes expressed low levels of Fas Ag. Immature CD4+CD8+ thymocytes and mature CD4+CD8- and CD4-CD8+ thymocytes were highly positive for Fas Ag. CD4+CD8+ thymocytes were specifically sensitive to the apoptosis-inducing activity of anti-Fas, although CD4-CD8-, CD4+CD8-, and CD4-CD8+ thymocytes were resistant. Spleen T cells were resistant to anti-Fas, whereas they expressed Fas Ag. The superantigen, staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) administered to BALB/c mice, induced clonal expansion and successive clonal deletion of spleen T cells bearing the V beta 8 TCR, which specifically reacts to SEB. Such clonal deletion of V beta 8 T cells was highly suppressed in lpr mice, which have defects in the Fas Ag gene. In SEB-administrated BALB/c mice, expression of Fas Ag was significantly enhanced on V beta 8, but not on V beta 6 T cells, which cannot react to SEB. Moreover, V beta 8 T cells in SEB-primed mice were sensitive to the cell-killing activity of anti-Fas, although V beta 6 T cells were resistant. These findings show that the expression level and apoptosis-inducing activity of Fas Ag on peripheral T cells are directly up-regulated by stimulation through the TCR in vivo.

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