brasiliensis-derived antigens. Some CD4 T cells from DO11/4get
mice can still respond to other antigens because allelic exclusion at the TCR α-chain locus is leaky and endogenous TCR α-chains can be expressed in addition to the transgenic α-chain, which leads to development of T cells with two different functional TCRs.25–27 Finally, we used DO11/4get mice on a Rag-deficient background (DO11/4get/Rag−/− mice), which express the transgenic TCR but lack expression of endogenous TCR α-chains so that we could determine whether Th2 cells are induced by cytokine-mediated bystander activation. Very few Th2 cells could be detected in lymph nodes and lungs of naive 4get, DO11/4get and DO11/4get/Rag−/− mice (Fig. 3a). However, on day 9 after infection 4get mice contained about 35% Th2 cells in the lung and about 14% Th2 cells in mesenteric lymph nodes whereas these frequencies BVD-523 order were reduced to 11% and 5%, respectively, in DO11/4get mice (Fig. 3a,b). The majority of Th2 cells in DO11/4get mice could not be stained with the clonotypic antibody KJ1-26, suggesting that most of these T cells expressed endogenous TCR α-chains, leading to preferential expression of a second TCR (Fig. 3a). The transgenic TCR in DO11/4get mice is composed of Vα5/Vβ8.1 chains. To determine whether endogenous
TCR α-chains are expressed on KJ1-26+ cells we stained peripheral blood samples from DO11/4get mice with antibodies against two different endogenous TCR α-chains. Among all KJ1-26hi cells, about 4·4% co-expressed Vα2 and 0·3% co-expressed selleck chemicals Vα8.3 chains (Fig. 3c). This demonstrates that DO11/4get mice contain a small repertoire of CD4 T cells with TCR specificities that are not restricted to recognition of OVA and some of these cells can mount a Th2 response against N. brasiliensis. Importantly, Th2 cells were completely absent in N. brasiliensis-infected DO11/4get/Rag−/− mice, which demonstrates that the OVA-specific
TCR is not cross-reactive with N. brasiliensis-derived antigens and Th2 cells were not induced by unspecific bystander activation (Fig. 3a,b). To support these findings in another system, we repeated these experiments with Smarta/4get mice, which express a transgenic TCR specific Rapamycin for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)GP61–80 peptide in I-Ab. In contrast to DO11/4get mice, N. brasiliensis infection of Smarta/4get mice did not induce Th2 cells (Fig. 4a). This was not because of differences in the genetic background because comparable frequencies of Th2 cells were observed in normal 4get mice on C57BL/6 or BALB/c background (compare Figs 3a and 4a). However, co-expression of three different endogenous TCR α-chains (Vα3.2, Vα8.3 and Vα11) together with the transgenic Vα2 chain was not observed in Smarta/4get mice (Fig. 4b). This might reflect a more efficient positive selection process in comparison to thymocyte maturation in DO11.