Beta 2-microglobulin/CD8 -/- mice reveal significant role for CD8+ T cells in graft rejection responses in beta 2-microglobulin -/- mice

Scand J Immunol. 2000 Mar;51(3):219-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.2000.00712.x.


Beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m) -/- mice have often been used as a model to investigate host resistance to grafted tissues in the absence of CD8+ T cells. However, the realization that beta 2m -/- mice have a small pool of CD8+ T cells imply that these cells may take part in immune responses in vivo. To directly address the role of CD8+ T cell responses in beta 2m -/- mice, we introduced a CD8 null mutation into these mice. The beta 2m/CD8 -/- mice and the corresponding control mice were primed, and challenged with syngeneic tumour grafts. While beta 2m -/- mice readily cleared such tumour grafts, similar tumour grafts grew progressively in a dose dependent manner in the beta 2m/CD8 -/- mice. The present results imply that residual CD8+ T cells in beta 2m -/- mice may carry out significant biological functions, and suggest that studies using beta 2m -/- mice as a model for CD8+ T cell deficiency must be regarded with some caution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / genetics
  • CD8 Antigens / genetics*
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / genetics
  • Graft Rejection / genetics*
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / genetics
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / deficiency*
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / genetics*
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • beta 2-Microglobulin