Developmental T cell receptor gene rearrangements: Relatedness of the α/β and γ/δ T cell precursor Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • AbstractTo examine the relationships between T cell populations at various stages of development, T cell receptor (TcR) gene rearrangements were compared between the four murine populations of (a) early thymocytes, (b) early splenocytes, (c) adult thymocytes and (d) adult splenocytes. TcR α gene rearrangements were shown to progress from 5′ to 3′ regions of the Jα locus and from 3′ to 5′ regions of the Vα locus during the development of T cells in both the thymus and spleen. Thus, the gene rearrangement potentials of proximal genes varied with age, yielding a biased repertoire in the young vs. adult animal. As evidence that γ/δ and α/β gene rearrangements appeared concomitantly in individual precursors, it was found that: (a) multiple adult thymocytes bore α gene rearrangements on one chromosome and δ gene rearrangements on the homologous chromosome, and (b) Vγ3‐Jγ1 rearrangements, prominent joins in the early γ/δ T cell population, were also prominent in the early α/β T cell subset. These data illustrate the non‐random nature of the developmental TcR gene rearrangement and suggest that α/β and γ/δ T cell populations derive from related, if not identical, T cell precursor populations.


  • Thompson, Susan D
  • Manzo, Andrea R
  • Pelkonen, Jukka
  • Larche, Mark
  • Hurwitz, Julia L

publication date

  • August 1991

has subject area