Green fluorescent protein-transgenic mice: immune functions and their application to studies of lymphocyte development

Immunol Lett. 1999 Dec 1;70(3):165-71. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2478(99)00152-2.


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic (GFP+) mice express GFP in most tissues except erythrocytes and hair. Immune responses of GFP+ mouse and their application to studies of lymphocyte development were investigated. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that differentiation patterns of lymphocytes from GFP+ mice are equivalent to those from parental C57BL/6 mice. There was no difference in mature T-cell proliferative ability in response to allogeneic stimulator cells or anti-CD3epsilon stimulation between GFP+ and C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, the anti-OVA antibody response of GFP+ mice was also the same as that of C57BL/6 mice. Taken together, these results show no immunological differences between GFP+ and C57BL/6 mice. Bone marrow transplantation and in vitro thymus reconstitution experiments were performed in an attempt to apply the GFP+ mice to the analysis of lymphocyte development. When bone marrow cells from GFP+ mice were transplanted. T and B lymphocytes containing GFP developed normally in scid recipients. Next we examined intrathymic T-cell development by hanging drop culture methods. GFP+ and CD4+8+ immature T-cells developed normally from bone marrow cells in the reconstituted thymus. The experimental system using hematopoietic cells from GFP+ mice is a powerful tool for visualizing lymphocyte development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • CD3 Complex*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Immune System / embryology*
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mice, Transgenic*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Transplantation Chimera


  • CD3 Complex
  • CD3E protein, human
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins