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

    4 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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