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Intestinal CD8 alpha alpha and CD8 alpha beta intraepithelial lymphocytes are thymus derived and exhibit subtle differences in TCR beta repertoires

Dunon, D.
Courtois, D.
Luhtala, M.
Vainio, O.
Published in Journal of Immunology. 2000, vol. 165, no. 12, p. 6716-6722
Abstract Intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) of the small intestine are anatomically positioned to be in the first line of cellular defense against enteric pathogens. Therefore, determining the origin of these cells has important implications for the mechanisms of T cell maturation and repertoire selection. Recent evidence suggests that murine CD8 alpha alpha intestinal IELs (iIELs) can mature and undergo selection in the absence of a thymus. We analyzed IEL origin by cell transfer, using two congenic chicken strains. Embryonic day 14 and adult thymocytes did not contain any detectable CD8 alpha alpha T cells. However, when TCR(+) thymocytes were injected into congenic animals, they migrated to the gut and developed into CD8alphaalpha iIELs, while TCR(-) T cell progenitors did not. The TCR V beta 1 repertoire of CD8 alpha alpha(+) TCR V beta 1(+) iIELs contained only part of the TCR V beta 1 repertoire of total iIELs, and it exhibited no new members compared with CD8(+) T cells in the thymus. This indicated that these T cells emigrated from the thymus at an early stage in their developmental process. In conclusion, we show that while CD8 alpha alpha iIELs originate in the thymus, T cells acquire the expression of CD8 alpha alpha homodimers in the gut microenvironment.
Keywords AnimalsAntigens, CD8/ biosynthesisBase SequenceCell Aging/genetics/immunologyCell Differentiation/genetics/immunologyCell Movement/genetics/immunologyChick EmbryoChickensGene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen ReceptorIntestinal Mucosa/cytology/ immunology/ metabolismMolecular Sequence DataReceptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/ biosynthesis/geneticsReceptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta/biosynthesisT-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology/ immunology/ metabolismThymus Gland/ cytology/immunology/metabolism
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PMID: 11120789
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