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Eur J Immunol. 1990 Nov;20(11):2517-20.

Newly generated thymocytes are not refractory to deletion when the alpha/beta component of the T cell receptor is engaged by the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical School, Edgbaston, GB.


It has been reported that, following the initial expression of the T cell receptor (TcR) alpha/beta, newly generated thymocytes pass through a developmental window characterized by ineffective coupling between the alpha/beta and CD3 components resulting in resistance to deletion (negative selection). However, we now provide evidence that the TcR alpha/beta on developing thymocytes is capable of delivering deletional signals in response to the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) as soon as the receptor is expressed. We also show that if TcR+ thymocytes are allowed to mature in organ cultures of embryonic thymus before SEB is added, they respond by proliferation giving rise to blast cells of CD4-CD8-, CD4+CD8- or CD4-CD8+ phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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