Limited diversity of gamma delta antigen receptor genes of Thy-1+ dendritic epidermal cells

Cell. 1988 Dec 2;55(5):837-47. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90139-0.


T cells bearing gamma delta antigen receptors constitute minor populations in most peripheral lymphoid tissues but represent the major populations of T cells in certain epithelia, including the epidermis. We show that murine dendritic epidermal cell (dEC) clones express V gamma and V delta gene segments, which are rare in adult T cells but predominate in fetal thymocytes. Analysis of the junctions of the rearranged gamma and delta genes shows a striking homogeneity among the receptors of five dEC clones. Our data support a model in which dECs represent one of perhaps several waves of emigrants from the early fetal thymus, and imply a role for dECs in immune surveillance that is distinct from that of alpha beta- and other gamma delta-bearing T cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Gene Amplification
  • Gene Rearrangement, gamma-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Thymus Gland / embryology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M23545