Responsiveness of fetal and adult CD4-, CD8- thymocytes to T cell activation

T. Takashi, A. D. Steinberg, C. H. June, W. C. Gause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Day-14 fetal CD4-, CD8- thymocytes showed a greater proliferative response to PMA + IL-4 than did adult double-negative thymocytes. In contrast, adult double-negative thymocytes were more responsive to PMA + IL-1 + IL-2 or to IL-1 + IL-2 alone. The adult double-negative thymocytes showed significantly greater proliferation than fetal thymocytes after stimulation via anti-CD 3 or anti-Thy-1 in the presence or absence of interleukins (IL-1 + IL-2 or IL-4). Adult CD4-, CD8- thymocytes also exhibited greater calcium mobilization following anti CD-3 stimulation IL-2-dependent activation with anti-Thy-1 or IL-1 + IL-2 in the absence of PMA resulted in marked expansion of CD 3+, F23.1+, CD4-, CD8- thymocytes, a population absent in fetal thymocytes but constituting 4% of pre-cultured CD4-, CD8- adult thymocytes. IL-4 + PMA failed to expand this CD 3+ population. It is hypothesized that before expression of functional TCR, T cell development may be more dependent on activation pathways not using IL-2; after TCR expression, IL-2-dependent pathways, including Thy-1-mediated stimulation, become functional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2641-2646
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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