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Eur J Immunol. 1989 May;19(5):905-11.

Peripheral T lymphocytes: expansion potential and homeostatic regulation of pool sizes and CD4/CD8 ratios in vivo.

Author information

1
Unité INSERM U 25-CNRS UA 122, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.

Abstract

Peripheral T lymphocytes are self-renewable cell populations since, when transferred into syngeneic T cell-deficient athymic mice, they expand in the absence of exogenous antigen stimulation. Quantification of the expansion potential of CD4+ cells by transfer of the same population into successive host mice shows that these cells are able to divide up to 56 times in vivo. Therefore, as a population, CD4+ cells can increase in size 8 x 10(5)-fold, an expansion potential of similar magnitude to that previously reported for colony-forming units. Injection of different numbers of T cells at different CD4/CD8 ratios is followed by T cell accumulation to a similar plateau in recipient nude mice. This indicates that peripheral T lymphocytes are tightly regulated by homeostatic mechanisms that control pool sizes and CD4/CD8 ratios, in a manner independent of the cell input into the peripheral compartment. This kinetic behavior of mature T cells permits the maintenance at the periphery of any T cell specificity previously selected in the thymus. The expansion capacity of peripheral T cells may also allow extensive modulation of peripheral T cell specificities, which would confer a major role to post-thymic selection of mature peripheral T cell repertoires.

PMID:
2500349
DOI:
10.1002/eji.1830190518
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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