Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 2004 Nov;114(10):1512-7.

Severe combined immunodeficiency caused by deficiency in either the delta or the epsilon subunit of CD3.

Author information

Unité Développement Normal et Pathologique du Système Immunitaire, INSERM U 429, Paris, France.


We investigated the molecular mechanism underlying a severe combined immunodeficiency characterized by the selective and complete absence of T cells. The condition was found in 5 patients and 2 fetuses from 3 consanguineous families. Linkage analysis performed on the 3 families revealed that the patients were carrying homozygous haplotypes within the 11q23 region, in which the genes encoding the gamma, delta, and epsilon subunits of CD3 are located. Patients and affected fetuses from 2 families were homozygous for a mutation in the CD3D gene, and patients from the third family were homozygous for a mutation in the CD3E gene. The thymus from a CD3delta-deficient fetus was analyzed and revealed that T cell differentiation was blocked at entry into the double positive (CD4+CD8+) stage with the accumulation of intermediate CD4-single positive cells. This indicates that CD3delta plays an essential role in promoting progression of early thymocytes toward double-positive stage. Altogether, these findings extend the known molecular mechanisms underlying severe combined immunodeficiency to a new deficiency, i.e., CD3epsilon deficiency, and emphasize the essential roles played by the CD3epsilon and CD3delta subunits in human thymocyte development, since these subunits associate with both the pre-TCR and the TCR.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center