Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Positive selection of V beta 8+ CD4-8- thymocytes by class I molecules expressed by hematopoietic cells.


A small subset of T cells of mature phenotype express the alpha/beta T cell receptor, but not CD4 and CD8 coreceptors (alpha/beta double-negative [DN] cells). The repertoire of V beta usage of alpha/beta DN cells is strongly biased towards V beta 8 expression, suggesting that the formation of the population is subject to selection. We now report that deficiency of class I expression leads to a strongly depressed frequency of V beta 8+ DN cells, but has little effect on V beta 8- DN cells. Studies of hematopoietic chimeras between class I+ and class I- mice demonstrated that expression of class I molecules by hematopoietic cells is necessary and sufficient for selection of most V beta 8 DN cells. The lack of a role for class I expression by thymic epithelial cells suggests that the mechanism of selection of these cells by class I differs significantly from the mechanism of selection of conventional T cells. Models to explain the selection of these cells as well as their possible function in vivo are discussed.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View