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Immunol Rev. 1997 Dec;160:139-44.

CD8+ T-cell clones in old mice.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.


Most old mice and human beings contain large clones of CD8+ alpha beta TCR+ T cells. In mice, clones bearing V beta 7 appear more frequently in animals infected with mouse hepatitis virus than in uninfected animals. This property is controlled by some non-MHC gene in the animals. The frequency of old mice containing such clones is affected by the origin of the animals. Although the clones are relatively anergic to acute stimuli in vitro, they can divide in vivo since in old animals they divide and turnover with about the same kinetics as other, non-clonally expanded CD8+ T cells. Moreover the clones expand slowly but inexorably after transfer into recipient animals. These data suggest that the CD8+ alpha beta TCR clones arise because they are specific for some exogenous or auto antigen to which the cells are continuously exposed in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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