Abstract

Immature T cells and some T cell hybridomas undergo apoptotic cell death when activated through the T cell receptor complex, a phenomenon that is probably related to antigen induced negative selection of developing T cells. This activation-induced apoptosis depends on active protein and RNA synthesis in the dying cells, although none of the genes required for this process have previously been identified. Antisense oligonucleotides corresponding to c-myc block the constitutive expression of c-Myc protein in T cell hybridomas and interfere with all aspects of activation-induced apoptosis without affecting lymphokine production in these cells. These data indicate that c-myc expression is a necessary component of activation-induced apoptosis.

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