Two differential pathways from double-negative to double-positive thymocytes

K. Matsumoto, Y. Yoshikai, Y. Moroi, T. Asano, T. Ando, K. Nomoto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Murine thymocytes are divided into four major populations on the basis of expression of CD4 and CD8 antigens. The bulk of evidence favours the view that CD4-CD8- cells can develop into CD4-CD8+ and CD4+CD8- cells via the CD4+CD8+ stage in the thymus. However, CD4-CD8+ and CD4+CD8- thymocyte subsets contain not only CD3+ mature cells but also CD3- immature cells, which seem to be intermediate cells between CD4-CD8- and CD4+CD8+ cells. Here we demonstrate mouse stain differences in the proportion of immature single-positive thymocyte subsets in thymus at the steady or developing state. In C3H mice, immature CD4+CD8- is dominant in proportion over CD4-CD8+ in foetal thymus and in donor-derived thymocytes at an early stage of bone marrow transplantation. On the other hand, immature CD4-CD8+ is dominant over CD4+CD8- during T-cell development in the case of B10.BR mice. An intermediate pattern was shown in the case of F1 mice. Both of these immature single-positive subsets gave rise to double-positive cells after 24 hr culture. These results suggest that there exist two distinct differential pathways; one is from CD4-CD8- cells to CD4+CD8+ cells via CD4-CD8+ cells, and another is via CD4+CD8- cells, and that an application of the 'CD8 pathway' or 'CD4 pathway' seems to be genetically destined by BM-derived cells but not by thymic stromal cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-26
    Number of pages7
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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