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J Immunol. 1991 Jul 1;147(1):42-9.

Characterization of the proliferative response of a CD4-8- thymic T lymphoma cell line to stimulation by thymic cellular elements.

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  • 1Department of Lymphocyte Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


E710.2 is a cloned T cell line that was isolated from an AKR/J thymic tumor. This clone expresses Thy-1, heat-stable Ag, and the CD3/TCR complex but does not express CD4 or CD8. When the E710.2 cell line is injected into syngeneic mice, it grows as a malignant tumor in lymphoid organs and the thymus. In contrast, this cell line does not grow in vitro under standard culture conditions. This latter property allowed us to analyze the in vitro responsiveness of this CD4-CD8- cell line to stimulation by pharmacologic agents and cellular elements from the spleen and thymus. E710.2 cells proliferate when stimulated with phorbol esters or when cocultured with thymocytes or splenocytes. We could not detect soluble stimulatory factors in cultures of E710.2 and/or lymphoid cells, suggesting that cell contact might be required for this response. The stimulatory activity in thymus and spleen appears to be broadly expressed, because all cell subsets that were examined from these tissues stimulate this cell line. The stimulation of E710.2 cells is not MHC-restricted and is not inhibited by anti-MHC mAb. Furthermore, the responsiveness of these cells is not decreased when the TCR/CD3 complex is modulated from the cell surface. Similarly, TCR/CD3-deficient E710.2 variant clones retain their responsiveness to thymic and splenic cell stimulation. These findings suggest that there is a TCR-independent pathway of activation in E710.2 that is stimulated by a broadly expressed, non-MHC-encoded molecules(s).

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