Activation-driven programmed cell death and T cell receptor zeta eta expression

Science  01 Dec 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4934, pp. 1162-1165
DOI: 10.1126/science.2531464


Activation of spontaneously dividing T cell hybridomas induces interleukin-2 (IL-2) production, a cell cycle block, and programmed cell death. T cell hybridomas that express the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) zeta homodimer (zeta 2), but not the TCR zeta eta heterodimer, were studied. The zeta eta- cells produced little or no inositol phosphates (IP) when stimulated with antigen. In most cases the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides was also impaired after stimulation with antibody to CD3, although one zeta eta- cell produced normal concentrations of IP. The zeta eta- cells slowed their growth and secreted IL-2 in response to both stimuli. However, the zeta eta- cells did not die after activation with antigen. Since activated thymocytes also undergo programmed cell death, these results may have important implications for the role of the zeta eta.TCR in negative selection.