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T cell leakiness in scid mice.


FACS analysis showed that the incidence of leaky T cells increases with age, such that virtually all old scid mice (greater than 1 year) contain detectable CD3+ cells. The number of detectable T cells remained very low; individual old scid mice generally contained less than 10(5) CD3+ cells. When CD3+ populations in individual leaky mice were analyzed for expression of the T cell subset markers, CD4 and CD8, the ratios of CD4/CD8 were found to be markedly skewed relative to normal mice. This suggested the presence of very few T cell clones. Indeed, the analysis of TCR gene rearrangements in polyclonally stimulated T cell cultures revealed only 1-5 clones in the pooled spleen and lymph nodes of individual old scid mice. These studies also indicated that TCR gene rearrangements in the majority of the stimulated T cell cultures did not contain abnormal J-associated deletions that are characteristic of antigen receptor genes of scid lymphomas. Four of five alloreactive T cell clones from leaky scid mice also apparently lacked abnormal J-associated deletions in their rearranged TCR alleles. Therefore, most leaky lymphocytes appear to derive from progenitors with normal or near-normal scid recombinase activity. However, one of five leaky T cell clones (S1233) and one Con A stimulated monoclonal culture (8706) contained both normally and abnormally rearranged TCR genes. The configuration of TCR loci in such clones may reflect the ability of the defective scid recombinase to mediate normal rearrangements at a low frequency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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