Immature CD4- CD8+ murine thymocytes

Cell Immunol. 1988 May;113(2):462-79. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(88)90042-1.


Mature thymocytes are usually defined and separated from other less mature thymocytes on the basis of their mutually exclusive expression of either CD4 or CD8. However, such murine "single positives" include a subpopulation of immature cells with properties resembling CD4- CD8- thymocytes or CD4+ CD8+ cortical blasts. Most of these immature single positives are CD4- CD8+, some expressing relatively low levels of CD8. They are large, dividing cortisone-sensitive cells found in the outer cortex. They express high levels of the heat-stable antigen (recognized by the monoclonals M1/69, B2A2, and J11d) but they are MEL-14-. The absence of detectable surface CD3, the absence of alpha-chain messenger RNA, and the predominance of the truncated form of the beta-chain messenger RNA all indicate that they do not express the T-cell antigen-receptor complex. Strategies for eliminating such immature cells from preparations of mature thymocytes are given, and their developmental significance is discussed.

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 / analysis*
  • Antigens, Ly / analysis*
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • CD3 Complex
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cortisone / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Ly
  • Antigens, Surface
  • CD3 Complex
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Cortisone