A model system has been developed to study extrathymic T cell differentiation; mice have been thymectomized, lethally irradiated, and reconstituted with bone marrow cells depleted of Thy-1+ cells. After 8 wk, the spleen cells of these athymic, bone marrow-reconstituted chimeras contain Thy-1+ precytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) that are able to respond to antigen only if supernatant from Con A-activated T cells is added to culture. The phenotype of these pre-CTL is similar to that of thymocytes, suggesting that they may be immature T cells. Initial evaluation of the CTL repertoire of these athymic mice demonstrated that the CTL generated to trinitrophenyl-modified syngeneic cells are H-2-restricted, and that the CTL generated to alloantigens have many of the cross-reactivities observed in normal mice but not in nude mice. In this report, we demonstrate a helper T cell defect in these thymectomized chimeras. These chimeras lack an Ly-1+ helper cells required for thymocytes to differentiate to CTL. Further studies revealed that when spleen cells from these thymectomized chimeras were stimulated with Con A, they produced normal levels of interleukin 2. However, these splenocytes were defective in the production of another factor needed for CTL differentiation.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - 1984|