We attempted to determine whether T cells express any VH gene segments. cDNA libraries were constructed from one suppressor and two helper T cell hybridomas. Both the library construction and screening were designed to maximize detection of a wide range of VH gene segments. One screening method should detect about half of the sequenced VH genes, while the second should detect most of these genes. The probability of detecting a VH gene homologous to the probes and present at 10 copies per cell was 77% for one helper cell cDNA library, 88% for the second helper cell library, and greater than 99% for the suppressor cell library. No cDNA clones with VH gene segments were detected. From this result, we conclude that VH gene segments are not likely to encode the antigen-specific receptor in the cells we tested.

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