Thy-1+ epidermal cells in nude mice are distinct from their counterparts in thymus-bearing mice: A study of morphology, function, and T cell receptor expression

J. L. Nixon-Fulton, W. A. Kuziel, B. Santerse, P. R. Bergstresser, P. W. Tucker, R. E. Tigelaar

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have evaluated the morphology, function, and TCR mRNA and DNA profiles of Thy-1+ epidermal cells (EC) derived from athymic (nude) mice. Based on these criteria we demonstrate that Thy-1+ EC in nude mice are predominantly round and angular and located in follicular epithelium, as compared to predominantly dendritic, interfollicular Thy-1+ EC found in normal CBA or BALB/c mice. Functionally, Thy-1+ EC from normal mice proliferate and elaborate IL-2 in response to stimulation by Con A; by contrast, nude Thy-1+ EC fail to proliferate or secrete IL-2 in response to Con A. Nude Thy-1+ EC proliferate markedly in response to low-dose IL-2 alone; Thy-1+ EC from normal mice give only modest proliferative responses to IL-2. Both populations of cells proliferate and elaborate IL-2 in response to PMA and calcium ionophore. Short-term cultured Thy-1+ EC from nude mice resemble Thy-1+ EC from normal animals in that they express no detectable functional TCR-α and β-RNA. Normal Thy-1+ EC express abundant levels of functional RNA for TCR-γ and δ-chains and for the CD3 δ-chain, whereas nude Thy-1+ EC produce no detectable TCR-δ and no CD3 δ-RNA and only truncated, presumably germ-line TCR-γ transcripts, as suggested by lack of hybridization with γ-V region probes and by lack of detectable rearrangements in the γ-genes. These phenotypic, functional, and genotypic characteristics of Thy-1+ EC from nude mice suggest that these cells are at a very early stage of T cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1903
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume141
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Nixon-Fulton, J. L., Kuziel, W. A., Santerse, B., Bergstresser, P. R., Tucker, P. W., & Tigelaar, R. E. (1988). Thy-1+ epidermal cells in nude mice are distinct from their counterparts in thymus-bearing mice: A study of morphology, function, and T cell receptor expression. Journal of Immunology, 141(6), 1897-1903.