Tetracycline-controllable selection of CD4+ T cells: Half-life and survival signals in the absence of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules

Deborah Witherden, Nicolai Van Oers, Caroline Waltzinger, Arthur Weiss, Christophe Benoist, Diane Mathis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Scopus citations


A system that allows the study, in a gentle fashion, of the role of MHC molecules in naive T cell survival is described. Major histocompatibility complex class II-deficient mice were engineered to express Eα chains only in thymic epithelial cells in a tetracycline (tet)-controllable manner. This resulted in tet-responsive display of cell surface E complexes, positive selection of CD4+8- thymocytes, and generation of a CD4+ T cell compartment in a class II-barren periphery. Using this system, we have addressed two unresolved issues: the half-life of naive CD4+ T cells in the absence of class II molecules (3-4 wk) and the early signaling events associated with class II molecule engagement by naive CD4+ T cells (partial CD3 ζ chain phosphorylation and ZAP-70 association).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 17 2000



  • Inducible expression
  • Lymph node
  • T lymphocyte
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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