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Developmental Immunology
Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 95-101

VßGene Family Usage in Spontaneous Lymphomas of AKR Mice: Evidence for Defective Clonal Deletion

1Laboratory for Pathology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2Division of Histochemistry and Electron Microscopy, Departments of Pathology and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands
3Department of Immunotoxicology, Laboratory for Pathology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven 3720 BA, The Netherlands
4Department of Immunology, TNO Institute for Aging and Vascular Research, Leiden, The Netherlands

Copyright © 1992 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.


T-cell receptor (TCR) ß-chain usage and expression of the CD3, CD4, and CD8 differentiation antigens were analyzed in 14 spontaneous AKR lymphomas. Lymphoma cells massively infiltrated and/or proliferated in the organs analyzed (thymus, spleen, and mesenteric lymph nodes), giving rise to a loss of organ structure. One lymphoma occurred only in the thymus, and failed to express CD3, CD4, and CD8. All other lymphomas expressed the CD3/TCR complex. With respect to CD4 and CD8 expression, the lymphomas were either double-negative (DN), double-positive (DP), or single-positive (SP). The frequency of DP (CD4+8+) lymphomas was low compared to the frequency of DP thymocytes in a normal AKR thymus. A substantial heterogeneity was seen in the intensity of CD4 and CD8 expression among various lymphomas, which was independent of the level of CD3 expression. Considering TCR V ß gene family usage, 2 out of 14 lymphomas expressed V ß6. Normally, V ß6+ thymocytes are deleted from the thymocyte pool at the immature DP stage of T-cell development in AKR mice. These data support the hypothesis that the lymphocytes in the immature DP stage of T-cell development are susceptible to the induction of AKR lymphomagenesis. The presence of V ß6+ lymphoma cells indicates that the lymphomagenesis is accompanied by a defective clonal deletion of cells expressing a possible autoreactive TCR.