The MAP kinase pathway controls differentiation from double-negative to double-positive thymocyte

Cell. 1996 Jul 26;86(2):243-51. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80096-3.


T cell development is regulated at two major control points where maturation, proliferation, and antigen receptor gene rearrangement are coordinated. Progression through these developmental control points is dependent upon the expression of different forms of the T cell receptor. Here we show that the MAP kinase cascade is a regulator of the differentiation of immature thymocytes from double-negative to double-positive cell, most probably acting as a transducer of pre-T cell receptor signaling. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the use of retrovirus-mediated gene transfer in fetal thymic organ culture in the analysis of thymic development in mutant mice, an alternative to transgenesis by oocyte injection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD3 Complex / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed / physiology
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology


  • CD3 Complex
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RAG-1 protein
  • Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases