Ligand-specific selection of MHC class II-restricted thymocytes in fetal thymic organ culture.

Journal Article (Academic article)

Positive and negative selection of thymocytes is determined by the specificity of the TCR and signaling through its associated molecules. We have studied selection of thymocytes bearing a MHC class II-restricted TCR using fetal thymic organ culture. This system allows the addition of peptides to the already diverse panoply of endogenous peptide ligands and is useful for analyzing ligand-specific negative selection of CD4 single positive (CD4SP) thymocytes. The data reveal that the ability of a given ligand to mediate negative selection is related to its dissociation rate from the TCR. We find that negative selection is very sensitive, and only the weakest ligand that we can identify fails to induce negative selection. None of the numerous peptides tested were able to induce an increase in CD4SP thymocytes. In addition, the ligands that induce negative selection of CD4SP thymocytes also cause an increase in numbers of CD8SP thymocytes bearing high levels of the class II-restricted TCR. Although these cells have a cell surface phenotype consistent with positive selection, they most likely represent cells in the process of negative selection. Further analysis reveals that these cells are not induced by these ligands in intact adult animals and that their induction is probably only revealed in the organ culture system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kersh, GJ; Engle, DL; Williams, CB; Allen, PM

Published Date

  • June 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 164 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 5675 - 5682

PubMed ID

  • 10820243

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-6606

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.164.11.5675


  • eng