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

Generation of NK1.1+ T cell antigen receptor alpha/beta+ thymocytes associated with intact thymic structure.

The development of T cells within the thymus is largely dependent on intact cortical and medullary epithelial cells. However, it has been reported that positive selection of natural killer antigen 1.1+ (NK1.1+) T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-alpha/beta+ thymocytes recently identified among CD4+8- and CD4-8- subpopulations is attributable to major histocompatibility complex class Ib ligands expressed on bone marrow (BM)-derived components in the thymus. In the present study, we investigated generation of NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ cells in the thymus of the aly/ aly mouse which lacks lymph nodes and Peyer's patches and shows abnormalities of thymic and splenic structure. We found that the proportion of the NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ thymocytes was extremely low in these mice as compared with aly/+ and normal C57BL/6 mice. Thymic reconstitution by BM cells from aly/+ mice that possess a normal population of NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ cell population did not restore the NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ cell population in the thymus of lethally irradiated aly/ aly mouse. When deoxyguanosine-treated fetal thymi from (B6 x B10.G)F1 mice were transplanted to aly/ aly mice that had been thymectomized and reconstituted with BM cells of aly/ aly mice, normal proportions of the NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ thymocytes were present in the thymus grafts. These findings demonstrate that the development of NK1.1+ TCR-alpha/beta+ thymocytes is accomplished under the influence not only of BM-derived components, but also of irradiation-resistant or deoxyguanosine-resistant components and an intact microenvironment of the thymus.[1]


  1. Generation of NK1.1+ T cell antigen receptor alpha/beta+ thymocytes associated with intact thymic structure. Nakagawa, K., Iwabuchi, K., Ogasawara, K., Ato, M., Kajiwara, M., Nishihori, H., Iwabuchi, C., Ishikura, H., Good, R.A., Onoé, K. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
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