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Curr Opin Immunol. 1997 Apr;9(2):263-75.

Early alpha beta T cell development in the thymus of normal and genetically altered mice.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


The vast majority of T lymphocytes, with the exception of gut-associated, intraepithelial lymphocytes, differentiate and mature inside the thymus. Early T cell development is characterized by expansion and differentiation of thymocytes which do not yet express mature TCRs on their cell surface. Important events in early thymocyte development are controlled by a pre-TCR complex consisting of a conventional TCR beta chain and a novel transmembrane protein termed pre-TCR alpha (p T alpha chain) which are noncovalently associated with components of CD3. Recent studies of pre-TCR function have led to a better understanding of the molecular events in early thymocyte development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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