Ontogeny of T cells is accomplished in the thymus by a process of positive selection, in which interaction of the T cell receptor (TcR) expressed on CD4+8+ thymocytes with self major histocompatibility complex (MHC), expressed on cortical epithelial cells, determines the progress along the maturation pathway and confers self restriction to T cells. Conversely, cells behaving as self reactive by interaction with bone marrow-derived antigen-presenting cells are negatively selected by apoptosis. We show here that the presence of a class I-restricted soluble TcR (sTcR) in the fetal thymic microenvironment, early in T cell ontogeny, determines an enhanced negative selection of a sizeable number of CD4+8+ thymocytes, which have been previously subjected to a positive-selection event. We hypothesize that the generation of the mature thymic T cell repertoire stems from an interaction of TcR, under a critical affinity threshold, with a self peptide-MHC complex which is common to a great number of TcR specificities using the same restriction element. A shift in this affinity threshold, caused by sTcR, results in the generation of cells acting in a self-reactive manner, which are then deleted. In extended fetal thymus organ culture in the presence of sTcR, we have also observed the appearance of mature CD8+ T cells,which once adoptively transferred to syngeneic nude mice are expanded in the periphery, consistent with an enhanced avidity of these cells for self MHC.
|Titolo:||Early degenerate selection of thymocytes by class I major histocompatibility complex|
GRASSI, FABIO MARIA (Primo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/13 - Biologia Applicata|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1994|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1002/eji.1830240321|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|