The inter-relatedness and interdependence of mouse T cell receptor gammadelta+ and alphabeta+ cells

Nat Immunol. 2003 Oct;4(10):991-8. doi: 10.1038/ni979. Epub 2003 Sep 21.


Although T cell receptor (TCR)gammadelta+ and TCRalphabeta+ cells are commonly viewed as functionally independent, their relatedness and potential interdependence remain enigmatic. Here we have identified a gene profile that distinguishes mouse gammadelta cell populations from conventional alphabeta T cells. However, this profile was also expressed by sets of unconventional alphabeta T cells. Therefore, whereas TCR specificity determines the involvement of a T cell in an immune response, the cell's functional potential, as assessed by gene expression, does not segregate with the TCR. By monitoring the described gene profile, we show that gammadelta T cell development and function in TCRbeta-deficient mice was impaired because of the absence of alphabeta T cell progenitors. Thus, normal gammadelta cell development is dependent on the development of conventional alphabeta T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element Modulator
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor / genetics*
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor / immunology
  • H-Y Antigen / genetics
  • H-Y Antigen / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • H-Y Antigen
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element Modulator