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J Immunol. 1989 Apr 15;142(8):2924-31.

Delta-chains of dendritic epidermal T cell receptors are diverse but pair with gamma-chains in a restricted manner.

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Biological Resources Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892.


To assess the diversity of TCR delta-gene expression in dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC), we characterized the delta-gene used by a panel of cell lines that express the gamma delta TCR on the cell surface. Northern hybridization analyses with a panel of V delta probes representing each of the six known V delta families showed that each of these lines expressed either V delta 1 or V delta 6 containing transcripts. Southern hybridization analysis with the V delta probes gave rearrangement patterns consistent with Northern hybridization results. The correlation of V delta expression with V gamma expression revealed that not only may V delta usage be restricted in DETC cells, but that the pairing of gamma- and delta-chains may not be random. In the DETC cells examined, V delta 1 chains paired exclusively with V gamma 3C gamma 1 chains and V delta 6 chains paired with C gamma 2 and C gamma 4 chains. Sequence analysis of delta-cDNA clones corresponding to the expressed delta-chains from one of the V delta 1 expressing cell lines and two of the V delta 6 expressing cell lines revealed that, although the V delta 1 gene segment sequence and one of the V delta 6 gene segment sequences were identical to previously published V delta sequences, considerable variable region diversity was generated by complex V-D-J rearrangement patterns that utilized various combinations of N-additions, D delta 2 and possibly D delta 1 segments, and J delta 1 or J delta 2 segments. These complex rearrangement patterns distinguish these DETC lines from early thymocytes and suggest that, if DETC are thymic derived, they originate from relatively mature thymic cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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