Distribution of MEL-14+ cells in various lymphoid tissues

Immunobiology. 1991 Mar;182(2):161-73. doi: 10.1016/S0171-2985(11)80200-7.


The distribution of MEL-14+ lymphocytes was investigated by both fluorocytometric analysis and complement-dependent-cellular-cytotoxicity (CDCC) tests in which rabbit anti-rat Ig was added with complement at a secondary step. When CDCC was employed to detect MEL-14+ cells, almost half of the thymocytes were found to be MEL-14+ in various strains of mice. This high proportion of MEL-14+ cells stands in striking contrast to prior reports. Furthermore, when determined by fluorocytometric analysis, MEL-14+ cells were found to comprise more than 80% of the cells in the thymus. The MEL-14+ thymocytes comprised both immature subsets (CD4-8-, CD4+8+) and mature subsets (CD+8-, CD4-8+). MEL-14 brightly positive (MEL-14high) cells, however, were located mainly in mature T cell subpopulations within the thymus. The MEL-14high thymocytes appeared to be susceptible to the CDCC method. Most of MEL-14+ cells present in spleens and lymph nodes were shown to be included in the MEL-14high population. The MEL-14+ cells susceptible to treatment with MEL-14, rabbit anti-rat Ig plus complement in the spleen and lymph node were restricted to cells of the T-lineage. These data suggest that T cells may change from cells with low expression of the MEL-14 antigens at their surface to cells with high MEL-14 antigens in the process of differentiation. Furthermore, these findings indicate that MEL-14 molecules may be used as a surface marker to characterize an important T cell subpopulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / biosynthesis
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens