The novel T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD3-retrogenic-reconstitution system represents a very useful strategy for studying TCR/CD3 signaling. Two retroviral vectors containing genes for all six subunits of the TCR/CD3 complex are used to transduce bone marrow precursors and reconstitute lethally irradiated recipient mice. Mice used in this system as bone marrow donors lack all four CD3 subunits (CD3γδɛζ(-/-)). These mice are generated by crossing the strains CD3ζ(-/-) and CD3γδɛ(-/-), the latter resulting from a knockout construct targeted to CD3ɛ that additionally silences the linked genes, CD3γ and CD3δ. Lacking mature T-cell function, CD3γδɛζ(-/-) mice are immunocompromised animals often produced by heterozygous breeding strategies on the C57BL/6 background. As a more rapid and reliable means to identify CD3γδɛζ(-/-) mice than previously described Northern and Southern blots, we designed polymerase chain reactions to distinguish knockout from wild-type CD3ɛ and CD3ζ alleles, facilitating the identification of CD3γδɛζ(-/-) mice.
Keywords: DNA; PCR; genes; genetic testing; immunology.