Expression of a wide T cell receptor V beta repertoire in human T lymphocytes derived in vitro from embryonic liver cell precursors

Eur J Immunol. 1994 Sep;24(9):2258-61. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830240949.


As shown recently, CD3+/TcR+ functional T lymphocytes can be derived in culture from embryonic liver cell precursors at a gestational age (6-8 weeks) preceding the colonization of the epithelial thymus. In this report, we analyzed the V beta repertoire of T lymphocytes derived from embryonic liver by applying a quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique. To this end, oligonucleotide primers for C alpha or the various human V beta have been used to study both freshly derived embryonic liver cell suspensions and CD3+/TcR+ populations derived after approximately 6 weeks upon stimulation with 1% phytohemagglutinin and culture in 100 units/ml recombinant interleukin-2. In order to exclude possible contaminations with mother-derived T lymphocytes, only T cells displaying both X and Y chromosomal sequences (i.e. derived from male embryos) were further analyzed. While neither C alpha nor the various V beta could be detected in fresh liver cells, C alpha and the large majority of V beta were detected in in vitro cultured populations. The levels of the various V beta expressed by embryo-derived T cells was similar to that detected in adult peripheral blood-derived T lymphocytes. These experiments indicate that the immature liver precursors can potentially give rise in vitro to T cells which express a wide V beta repertoire and may provide a suitable in vitro system for the analysis of the selection processes mediated by either major histocompatibility complex antigen or superantigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / biosynthesis
  • CD3 Complex / biosynthesis
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / embryology
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / biosynthesis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Thorax / cytology
  • Thorax / embryology


  • Antigens, Surface
  • CD3 Complex
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta