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Differential induction of helper and killer T cells from isolated CD4+CD8+ thymocytes in suspension culture

Differential induction of helper and killer T cells from isolated CD4+CD8+ thymocytes in suspension culture

European Journal of Immunology 26(9): 2081-2086

ISSN/ISBN: 0014-2980

PMID: 8814250

DOI: 10.1002/eji.1830260918

Thymocytes of T cell receptor transgenic mice with nonselecting and RAG-2 -/- backgrounds were developmentally arrested at the CD4+CD8+ stage before positive selection. These thymocytes underwent lineage commitment upon transient stimulation with a combination of ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a protein kinase C activator, in suspension culture. The effective drug doses were limited within narrow ranges and much lower than those which induce proliferation of mature T cells. The doses corresponded to those which inhibit glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in these thymocytes. CD4 lineage commitment required longer duration, higher intensity of the stimulation, or both, than CD8 lineage commitment. Functional helper T cells (Th1 and Th2) were induced from the CD4 lineage-committed cells upon secondary stimulation with a combination of ionomycin and PMA followed by lymphokine treatment. Cytotoxic T cells were induced from the CD8 lineage-committed cells upon incubation with concanavalin A and irradiated splenic dendritic cells, but not with the combination of ionomycin and PMA. These results indicate that positive selection is mimicked by the pharmacological stimulation in the absence of other cell types, but that final maturation of CD8 T cells may require a different signal.

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Accession: 008473136

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