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Developmental Immunology
Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 255-263

Murine T-Lymphomas Corresponding to the Immature CD4-8+ Thymocyte Subset

1The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, P.O. Box 389, Smithville, Texas 78957, USA
2The Department of Zoology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

Received 13 December 1990; Accepted 18 January 1991

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.


N-methyl-N-nitrosourea induces murine CD4-8+ T-lymphomas that express high levels of J11d and low levels of CD5 antigens, a phenotype characteristic of immature CD4-8+ thymocytes. This assignment is supported by the fact that CD4-8+ lymphoma cell lines acquire CD4 expression after intrathymic (i.t.) transfer, a finding consistent with the established precursor potential of the normal immature CD4-8+ subset. CD4+8+ lymphomas recovered after i.t. transfer maintain a CD4+8+ phenotype in long-term culture. Northern blot analyses reveal that CD4 expression is regulated at the transcriptional level in immature CD4-8+ and CD4+8+ cell lines. CD4-8+ lymphomas express low levels of functional CD3/TCR complexes that mediate intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in response to CD3 or α/β-TCR monoclonal antibody. These data suggest that the immature CD4-8+ subset contains cells capable of undergoing TCR-mediated signaling and selection events. In contrast to normal immature CD4-8+ cells, which comprise a heterogeneous and transient subset, the CD4-8+ lymphoma lines provide stable, monoclonal models of the immature CD4-8+ stage of thymocyte development.