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T-cell specificity for H–2 and Ir gene phenotype correlates with the phenotype of thymic antigen-presenting cells

Naturevolume 287pages4446 (1980) | Download Citation



Experiments with chimaeric animals have demonstrated that the H–2 restriction specificity and immune response (Ir) gene phenotype of the T cell is acquired during development in the thymus. The mechanism by which this process occurs is unclear. One level of obligate expression of H–2 and Ir gene products is on the surface of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) which come from bone marrow precursors. We have now examined the turnover of APCs in the thymuses of F1→parent (P) radiation-induced bone marrow chimaeras and found that APCs of donor phenotype appear at about 2 months after reconstitution. If the peripheral T-cell population is depleted after this time, new T cells emerging from the parental thymus (containing F1 APCs) behaved like F1 T cells, suggesting that cells from the bone marrow can influence thymic-directed T-cell differentiation. The thymic APC is an attractive candidate to play such a part in the development of the T-cell repertoire.

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  1. Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20205

    • Dan L. Longo
    •  & Ronald H. Schwartz


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