Expression of two T cell receptor alpha chains on the surface of normal murine T cells

Eur J Immunol. 1995 Jun;25(6):1617-23. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830250622.


We have previously reported that a subset of T cells in T cell receptor (TCR)-transgenic mice may express two different alpha chains on their surface. The expression of two functional alpha chains has also been demonstrated for human peripheral blood T cells. In this report, we show that a proportion of normal murine lymph node T cells express two functional alpha chains on their surface. The extrapolated frequency of these cells present in the normal repertoire ranges from 7-21%, with an average of 15%. Our analysis of a small number of antigen-specific T cell clones suggests that the frequency of antigen-responsive cells expressing two surface alpha chains is relatively low. This raises the possibility that dual alpha chain T cells may have a selective disadvantage in responding to specific antigen.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / chemistry
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta