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Immunity. 2007 Nov;27(5):775-85.

Requirements for selection of conventional and innate T lymphocyte lineages.

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National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Mice deficient in the Tec kinase Itk develop a large population of CD8(+) T cells with properties, including expression of memory markers, rapid production of cytokines, and dependence on Interleukin-15, resembling NKT and other innate T cell lineages. Like NKT cells, these CD8(+) T cells can be selected on hematopoietic cells. We demonstrate that these CD8(+) T cell phenotypes resulted from selection on hematopoietic cells-forcing selection on the thymic stroma reduced the number and innate phenotypes of mature Itk-deficient CD8(+) T cells. We further show that, similar to NKT cells, selection of innate-type CD8(+) T cells in Itk(-/-) mice required the adaptor SAP. Acquisition of their innate characteristics, however, required CD28. Our results suggest that SAP and Itk reciprocally regulate selection of innate and conventional CD8(+) T cells on hematopoietic cells and thymic epithelium, respectively, whereas CD28 regulates development of innate phenotypes resulting from selection on hematopoietic cells.

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