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Int Immunol. 1995 Nov;7(11):1763-9.

Resident CD4+ alpha beta T cells of the murine female genital tract: a phenotypically distinct T cell lineage that rapidly proliferates in response to systemic T cell activation stimuli.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


A population of CD4+ cells has been identified in the murine female genital tract (FGT). Phenotypic studies of FGT CD4+ cells demonstrate that they express CD3 and that the majority of these cells are alpha beta TCR+Thy-1+. Most of the Thy-1+CD4+alpha beta TCR+ cells resemble memory T cells based on their expression of CD44, L-selectin and CD45RB antigens. The vast majority of Thy-1+CD4+alpha beta TCR+ FGT cells are CD5+ and all of them are B220-. Systemic stimuli including infection with Trypanosoma brucei brucei, injection with anti-CD3 epsilon, or bacterial superantigens staphylococcal enterotoxin A or B cause a rapid accumulation of CD4+ cells in the FGT exceeding that observed for CD4+ cells in spleen and lymph nodes (LN). Expansion of the FGT CD4+ cells, which are phenotypically distinct from the splenic and LN CD4+ T cells, is due to local proliferation rather than an influx of cells from the circulation. The CD4+ population in the FGT of adult nu/nu mice is dramatically reduced, indicating its thymic dependency. In lpr/lpr mice, FGT CD4 cells do not display changes characteristic of splenic or LN CD4 cells in the same animals. These findings demonstrate that the CD4+ cells of the murine FGT are thymic dependent, but that they constitute a T cell lineage that phenotypically and, probably functionally, is distinct from other peripheral CD4+ T cell populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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