Expression of T cell antigen receptor genes in the thymus of irradiated mice after bone marrow transplantation

G. Matsuzaki, Y. Yoshikai, K. Kishihara, K. Nomoto

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Sequential appearance of the expression of T cell antigen receptor genes was investigated in the thymus of irradiated mice at the early stage after transplantation of Thy-1 congeneic H-2 compatible allogeneic bone marrow cells. The first cells to repopulate the thymus on day 7 after bone marrow transplantation were intrathymic radioresistant T cell precursors, which expanded mainly to CD4+CD8+ host-type thymocytes by day 14. A high level of γ gene expression but a much reduced level of α and β gene expression were detected in the host-type thymocytes on day 7. During regeneration of these cells, γ-chain messages fell to low level and α and β mRNA levels increased. The thymus of the recipients began to be repopulated by donor-derived T cells about 2 wk after bone marrow transplantation and was almost completely replaced by the third week. An ordered expression of γ then β and α-chain gene transcript was also observed in the donor-type thymocytes at the early stage after bone marrow transplantation. The use of thymocytes at an early stage in whole-body irradiated bone marrow chimera provides a pertinent source for investigating the molecular mechanism of T cell differentiation in adult thymus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-387
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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