Spontaneous clustering of Thy-1 antigens on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes lacking TCR engagement by MHC/peptide complexes

Tetsuro Sano, Ken Yamamoto, Yoshinori Fukui, Takehiko Sasazuki

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While much is known concerning CD4+CD8+ thymocytes positively or negatively selected through interaction of their TCR with self peptides bound to self-MHC molecules, little is known of the majority of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes lacking this interaction. We developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) 1D11, the ligand of which (1D11-L) is expressed on 60-70% of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes but not on other subsets of thymocytes and peripheral T cells. 1D11-L expression on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes reversely correlates with their TCR engagement, in vitro and in vivo. In addition, 1D11-L+CD4+CD8+ thymocytes were more susceptible than 1D11-L-CD4+CD8+ thymocytes to apoptosis. We also found that T lineage cells other than CD4+CD8+ thymocytes and a Thy-1-expressing fibroblast cell line became positive for 1D11-L by cross-linking their Thy-1 antigens with anti-Thy-1 mAb but not with their Fab fragment, suggesting that 1D11 recognizes multimerized Thy-1 antigens. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that Thy-1 antigens as well as 1D11-L are clustered on some CD4+CD8+ thymocytes but not on the other subsets of thymocytes. Taken together, we suggest that clustering of Thy-1 antigens spontaneously and specifically occurs on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes lacking TCR engagement by MHC/peptide complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-412
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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