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Immunol Lett. 2002 May 1;81(3):211-6.

Seeding of dendritic epidermal T cells in the neonatal skin is reduced in 129 strain of mice.

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Department of Medical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Precursors for Thy-1(+) dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC) develop as Vgamma3(+) T cells in the fetal thymus and become distributed in the adult skin. DETC are variably distributed from site to site and from strain to strain. To elucidate the basis of strain variation, we first compared the density of DETC in the ear epidermis among different mouse strains. In the ear epidermis, we detected the highest level of DETC in C57BL/6 mice, intermediate levels in C3H and CBA/J mice, and the lowest levels in other strains including BALB/c and 129 mice. Although BALB/c and 129+Ter/Sv mice showed higher levels of DETC in the abdomen than in the ear, the levels were significantly lower than C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, in neonatal abdominal epidermis we detected considerably lower numbers of DETC in BALB/c and 129+Ter/Sv mice than in C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, Vgamma3(+) DETC precursors in the fetal thymus are rather increased in 129+Ter/Sv mice. These results suggest that fewer DETC precursors are seeded in the neonatal skin of BALB/c and 129+Ter/Sv mice and that their expansion in the skin during neonatal to adult stages does not reach the levels in C57BL/6 mice.

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