The role of thymic MHC class II-bearing cells in the selection of the TCR repertoire has been investigated in allogeneic radiation bone marrow chimeras. Positive selection of mature CD4+ T lymphocytes expressing the V beta 6+ TCR domain was found to depend upon radioresistant (presumably epithelial) I-E+ thymic cells. On the other hand, negative selection of CD4+ V beta 6+ cells (which was additionally dependent upon expression of the Mls-1a gene product) was controlled by a radiosensitive I-E+ thymic component (most likely dendritic cells). These data argue in favor of a compartmentalization of positive and negative selection events during T cell development.
Positive and negative selection of T cell receptor V beta domains controlled by distinct cell populations in the thymus.
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D E Speiser, R K Lees, H Hengartner, R M Zinkernagel, H R MacDonald; Positive and negative selection of T cell receptor V beta domains controlled by distinct cell populations in the thymus.. J Exp Med 1 December 1989; 170 (6): 2165–2170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.170.6.2165
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