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Developmental Immunology
Volume 1 (1991), Issue 3, Pages 163-168

T-Lymphocyte Subsets in the Embryonic Spleen Undergoing a Graft-Versus-Host Reaction

1Institut d'Embryologie du CNRS et du Collge de France, 49bis Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, F-94736 Nogent-sur-Marne, Paris Cedex, France
2Centro de Biologia Molecular, CSIC, Universidad Autonoma, Madrid 28049, Spain

Received 1 November 1990; Accepted 21 November 1990

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Allogeneic immunocompetent T cells injected into chicken embryos induce a graft-versushost reaction (GVHR) whose most prominent manifestation is splenic hyperplasia. The highly inbred CC and CB strains of chickens used here are, respectively, homozygous for the B4 or B12 MHC haplotypes. By means of a panel of immunological reagents, including alloantisera and monoclonal antibodies against public domains of the T-cell receptor, CD4, CD8, and the inducible interleukin-2-receptor light chain (CD25), it is shown that the bulk of cells in the enlarged spleen are of host origin and do not express markers typical of mature T or B lymphocytes. Among recipient splenocytes, the quantitatively most important population consists of TCRαβ-TCRγδ-CD4-CD8+CD25+ (TCR0) lymphocytes. Donor cells encountered in the spleen prevalently exhibit a TCRαβ+CD4+CD8-CD25+ phenotype and proliferate in vivo. The data demonstrate that nonspecific host and potentially specific donorderived cellular elements contribute to splenomegaly.