Thymocyte-intrinsic genetic factors influence CD8 T cell lineage commitment and affect selection of a tumor-reactive TCR.
Shanker A., Auphan-Anezin N., Chomez P., Giraudo L., Van den Eynde B., Schmitt-Verhulst A-M.
Selection of immature CD4CD8 double-positive (DP) thymocytes for CD4 or CD8-lineage commitment is controlled by the interaction of the TCR with stromal cell-expressed peptide/MHC. We show that thymocyte-intrinsic genes influence the pattern of expression of a MHC class I-restricted transgenic (tg) TCR so that in DBA/2 mice, DP thymocytes with a characteristically high expression of tg TCR, infrequently transit to CD8 single-positive thymocytes. In contrast, in B10.D2 mice, the same tg TCR is expressed at lower levels on a subpopulation of DP thymocytes that more frequently transit to CD8 single-positive thymocytes. These characteristics were not influenced by thymic stromal components that control positive selection. Radiation chimeras reconstituted with a mixture of BM from tg TCR mice of the two genetic backgrounds revealed that the relative frequency of transit to the CD8 lineage remained thymocyte-intrinsic. Identifying the gene products whose polymorphism controls CD8 T cell development may shed new light on the mechanisms controlling T cell commitment/selection in mice other than the most studied "C57BL/6"-based strains.