Requirement for positive selection of gamma delta receptor-bearing T cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Aug 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5022, pp. 903-905
DOI: 10.1126/science.1831565


The alpha beta and gamma delta T cell receptors for antigen (TCR) delineate distinct T cell populations. TCR alpha beta-bearing thymocytes must be positively selected by binding of the TCR to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on thymic epithelium. To examine the requirement for positive selection of TCR gamma delta T cells, mice bearing a class I MHC-specific gamma delta transgene (Tg) were crossed to mice with disrupted beta 2 microglobulin (beta 2M) genes. The Tg+beta 2M- (class I MHC-) offspring had Tg+ thymocytes that did not proliferate to antigen or Tg-specific monoclonal antibody and few peripheral Tg+ cells. This is evidence for positive selection within the gamma delta T cell subset.