T helper cells in murine germinal centers are antigen-specific emigrants that downregulate Thy-1.
After immunization, activated splenic T cells proliferate in periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths (PALS) and subsequently migrate to the lymphoid follicle where they enter nascent germinal centers. Analysis of TCR V(D)J gene rearrangements indicates extensive emigration, frequently involving more than a single white pulp region. These migrants constitute a unique set of T helper cells that express antigen-specific alpha beta TCR, CD3, and CD4, but little or no Thy-1, a differentiation antigen present on the great majority of peripheral murine T lymphocytes. The origin of CD4+ Thy-1 follicular T cells appears to be the Thy+ population in the PALS, as both sets commonly share identical V(D)J rearrangements.
Zheng, B; Han, S; Kelsoe, G
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