Growth and differentiation in vitro of the accumulating Lyt-2-/L3T4- subset in lpr mice

J Immunol. 1985 Dec;135(6):3704-11.


Mice bearing the recessive gene lpr develop an autoimmune syndrome associated with a massive lymphadenopathy, both of which are age and thymus dependent. The predominant accumulating cells in lymphoid tissue of lpr/lpr mice are Thy-1+ but express neither of the mature T cell markers, Lyt-2 or L3T4. We have purified this Lyt-2-/L3T4- subset and examined its phenotype. These cells are not actively cycling, do not express interleukin-2 (IL 2) receptors nor significant levels of antigen receptor, but do express the B cell marker B220. In vitro growth conditions were examined for the lpr Lyt-2-/L3T4- subset. By using a combination of phorbol ester and IL 2, these cells acquired transient expression of IL 2 receptors and grew in an IL 2-dependent manner. Furthermore, these proliferating cells underwent differentiation to a more mature T cell phenotype, with loss of cell surface B220 and acquisition, by a portion, of antigen receptor and Lyt-2. The possible parallels with normal T cell maturation are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly* / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface* / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Concanavalin A / pharmacology
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymphocyte Activation* / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / classification*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / metabolism
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Concanavalin A
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate