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J Exp Med. 1998 Oct 5;188(7):1375-80.

Essential and partially overlapping role of CD3gamma and CD3delta for development of alphabeta and gammadelta T lymphocytes.

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Division of Immunology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


CD3gamma and CD3delta are two highly related components of the T cell receptor (TCR)-CD3 complex which is essential for the assembly and signal transduction of the T cell receptor on mature T cells. In gene knockout mice deficient in either CD3delta or CD3gamma, early thymic development mediated by pre-TCR was either undisturbed or severely blocked, respectively, and small numbers of TCR-alphabeta+ T cells were detected in the periphery of both mice. gammadelta T cell development was either normal in CD3delta-/- mice or partially blocked in CD3gamma-/- mice. To examine the collective role of CD3gamma and CD3delta in the assembly and function of pre-TCR and in the development of gammadelta T cells, we generated a mouse strain with a disruption in both CD3gamma and CD3delta genes (CD3gammadelta-/-). In contrast to mice deficient in either CD3gamma or CD3delta chains, early thymic development mediated by pre-TCR is completely blocked, and TCR-alphabeta+ or TCR-gammadelta+ T cells were absent in the CD3gammadelta-/- mice. Taken together, these studies demonstrated that CD3gamma and CD3delta play an essential, yet partially overlapping, role in the development of both alphabeta and gammadelta T cell lineages.

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