Close Phenotypic and Functional Similarities Between Human and Murine αβ T Cells Expressing Invariant TCR α-Chains

François Davodeau, Marie Alix Peyrat, Antje Necker, Roberto Dominici, Frédéric Blanchard, Corinne Leget, Joelle Gaschet, Paola Costa, Yannick Jacques, Anne Godard, Henri Vié, Alessandro Poggi, François Romagné, Marc Bonneville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several studies have demonstrated the existence of a murine NK1.1+ αβ T cell subset expressing Vα14+ TCR α-chains with highly conserved invariant junctional sequences and able to secrete Th2 cytokines when exposed to CD1+ stimulator cells. In humans, α/β T cells carrying invariant Vα24+ TCR α-chains highly homologous to those expressed by murine NK1.1 cells have been recently described. Here we show that these cells (referred to as Vα24inv T cells) and murine NK1.1+ αβ T cells resemble each other in several ways. First, like their murine counterparts, T cells expressing high levels of Vα24inv TCRs can be either CD4-CD8- double negative (DN) or CD4+, but they never express heterodimeric CD8 molecules. Second, most Vα24inv T cells are brightly stained by NKRP1-specific mAb but not by mAb directed against other type II transmembrane proteins of the NK complex. Third, DN and particularly CD4+ Vα24inv T cells are greatly enriched for IL-4 producers. The concomitant expression of highly conserved TCRs of a particular set of NK markers and of Th2 cytokines in human and murine αβ T cells suggests a coordinate acquisition of these phenotypic and functional properties. Furthermore, the relatively high frequency of human Vα24inv T cells, which are presently shown to represent on average 1/500 PBL, and the high interindividual variations of the size of this cell subset under physiologic conditions go for a major role played by αβ T cells carrying invariant TCR in a large array of immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5603-5611
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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