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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytoplasmic CD3+ surface CD8+ lymphocytes develop as a thymus-independent lineage in chick-quail chimeras.

We have analyzed the embryonic development of a population of lymphoid cells that express a CD3 antigenic determinant in the cytoplasm but not on the cell surface. Since these cells lack T cell receptor (TcR) molecules, we have provisionally named them TCRO cells. Their development, expansion and distribution was investigated following transplantation of splenic and bursal fragments from chicken embryos into quail embryos. Since quail cells are not recognized by our panel of monoclonal antibodies against chicken TcR1, TcR2, TcR3, CD3, CD4 and CD8 molecules, these antibodies provided reliable markers for donor chick lymphocytes in the tissues of the quail recipients. Transplanted spleen and bursa both generated CD3+ cells, the number of which increased as a function of age. Notably, approximately half of these CD3+ cells expressed surface CD8, but none acquired TcR1 (gamma/delta), TcR2 (alpha/beta) or TcR3 expression. Since TCRO cells normally appear first in the spleen of 8-day chick embryos (E8), their generation in E6 splenic transplants indicated an extrathymic origin. The TCRO cells of chick splenic origin migrated to the spleen, bursa and thymus of the quail recipients. In six of seven chimeras acquiring CT3+ cells in the recipient thymus, these cells were restricted to the medulla and displayed the typical TCRO phenotype: CD3+CD8+TcR1-TcR2-TcR3-. These intrathymic TCRO cells also lacked the CT1 thymocyte antigen. We conclude that the TCRO cells represent a thymus-independent lineage of lymphoid cells that can migrate into a receptive thymus by rarely, if ever, differentiate into conventional T cells.[1]


  1. Cytoplasmic CD3+ surface CD8+ lymphocytes develop as a thymus-independent lineage in chick-quail chimeras. Bucy, R.P., Coltey, M., Chen, C.I., Char, D., Le Douarin, N.M., Cooper, M.D. Eur. J. Immunol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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