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Cell. 1992 Oct 30;71(3):423-35.

Differentiation of an immature T cell line: a model of thymic positive selection.

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Department of Immunology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.


Thymocyte differentiation is dependent upon recognition of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on thymic stroma, a process called positive selection. Here we describe an immature CD4+8+ T cell line derived from a TCR transgenic mouse that differentiates into CD4+8- cells in response to antigen and nonthymic antigen-presenting cells. When injected intrathymically, these cells differentiate in the absence of antigen. The ability of immature T cells to recognize MHC molecules in the absence of foreign antigen in the thymus can thus be attributed to a unique property of thymic antigen-presenting cells. These studies also demonstrate the phenotypic and functional changes associated with TCR-mediated T cell maturation and establish an in vitro model system of positive selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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