Proliferation and production of IL-2 and B cell stimulatory factor 1/IL-4 in early fetal thymocytes by activation through Thy-1 and CD3

L. Tentori, D. M. Pardoll, J. C. Zuniga, J. Hu-Li, W. E. Paul, J. A. Bluestone, A. M. Kruisbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To examine which cell surface molecules can operate as transducers of activation signals to early fetal thymocytes, we analyzed the ability of mAb to CD3 and Thy-1 to induce fetal thymocyte activation. Both proliferation and lymphokine secretion were used as measures of activation. We show that anti-CD3 antibodies induce activation of fetal thymocytes as early as day 13 of fetal thymus development, 2 days before CD3 can be detected by flow cytometry. In addition, an alternative activation signal can be delivered to fetal thymocytes through the Thy-1 molecule as early as it is expressed, i.e., day 13. Both CD3- and Thy-1- mediated activation of day 15 fetal thymocytes results in expansion of cells expressing a CD3-γδ receptor complex; no CD3-αβ receptor complex could be detected. IL-2 production induced by CD3- and Thy-1-induced activation of fetal thymocytes is evident at the 13th day of gestation. Finally, an additional lymphokine B cell stimulatory factor-1 (BSF-1)/IL-4 (so far known only to be produced by mature CD3- cells), is also produced by fetal thymocytes. The results demonstrate that at least two cell surface molecules, Thy-1 and CD3, can function as pathways of activation in fetal thymocytes, and that at least two lymphokines, IL-2 and BSF-1/IL-4, are produced upon activation. These findings may well reflect a role for the early appearance of CD3- cells in thymus ontogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1094
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume140
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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