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Immunity. 1998 Nov;9(5):649-55.

On the role of the pre-T cell receptor in alphabeta versus gammadelta T lineage commitment.

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Institut Necker, INSERM U373, Faculté de Médecine, Necker-Enfants-Malades, Paris, France.


The role of the pre-T cell receptor (TCR) in lineage commitment to the gammadelta versus alphabeta lineage of T cells was addressed by analyzing TCRbeta chain rearrangements in gammadelta T cells from wild-type and pre-TCR-deficient mice by single cell polymerase chain reaction. Results show that the pre-TCR selects against gammadelta T cells containing rearranged Vbeta genes and that gammadelta T cell precursors but not gammadelta T cells express the pre-TCRalpha protein. Furthermore, pre-TCR-induced proliferation could not be detected in gammadelta T cells. We propose that the pre-TCR commits developing T cells to the alphabeta lineage by an instructive mechanism that has largely replaced an evolutionary more ancient stochastic mechanism of lineage commitment.

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