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Nature. 1989 May 18;339(6221):226-9.

Isolation of CD4- CD8- mycobacteria-reactive T lymphocyte clones from rheumatoid arthritis synovial fluid.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University, California 94305.


The majority of peripheral T cells express a heterodimeric, alpha/beta T-cell receptor, which recognizes specific antigenic peptides bound to self major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, and either the CD4 or CD8 surface markers. An additional subset of T cells, whose physiological function is unknown, express a distinct CD3-associated receptor composed of gamma and delta chains. This subset includes cells lacking both CD4 and CD8 surface markers, which may be involved in autoimmunity. The recognition specificity of the gamma/delta receptors is not well characterized and has been defined in only one case to date, a murine cell line which shows MHC-linked specificity. In this report, we describe the isolation of CD4- CD8-, gamma/delta TCR bearing T cell clones from the synovial fluid of a rheumatoid arthritis patient. These T cell clones respond specifically to mycobacterial antigens without MHC restriction.

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