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Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Jan;151(1):190-8. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

T cell receptor Vbeta repertoire of T lymphocytes and T regulatory cells by flow cytometric analysis in healthy children.

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Department of Immunology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


Evaluation of the T cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta repertoire by flow cytometric analysis has been used for studying the T cell compartments for diseases in which T cells are implicated in the pathogenesis. For the interpretation of these studies information is needed about Vbeta usage in healthy individuals and there are few data for normal usage in paediatric populations. We examined the T lymphocyte (sub)populations in 47 healthy controls (age range: 3 months-16 years). We found non-random Vbeta usage with skewed reactivity of some families towards CD4+ or CD4- T cells. Importantly, there appeared to be no significant change in Vbeta usage according to age group. Some controls showed expansions in some Vbeta families, although incidence of such expansions was low. We went on to examine the repertoire of CD4+CD25(Bright) T regulatory cells in 25 healthy controls. We found overlapping quantitative usage for each of the Vbeta families between CD4+CD25- and CD4+CD25(Bright) T cells. However, there was a significant preferential usage for five Vbeta families and decreased usage of two Vbeta families in the CD4+CD25(Bright) T cells, suggesting that although they overlap there may be subtle but important differences in the TCR repertoire of T regulatory cells.

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