• FcRγ;
  • Knockout mice;
  • Epithelial T cells;
  • T cell receptor expression;
  • Development


The function of the Fc receptors γ chain (FcRγ) for the expression of the T cell receptor (TCR) complex and for T cell development, especially for T cells localized in epithelia, was investigated by analyzing FcRγ-deficient mice. In wildtype mice, CD8αα+βTCRαβ+ T cells of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (i-IEL) utilized CD3ζ homodimers and ζ-FcRγ heterodimers, whereas CD8α α+βTCRγδ+ i-IEL used ζ-FcRγ and FcRγ homodimers in the TCR complex. On the other hand, these T cells in FcRγ-deficient mice contained only ζ homodimers. The surface expression of the TCR complex was reduced in CD8αα+βi-IEL and dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC) in these mice, whereas the development of these T cells was normal. The degree of reduction appeared to depend on the expression level of FcRγ. In contrast to these populations, TCRγδ+ intraepithelial T cells in reproductive organs (r-IEL) were dramatically decreased, suggesting that the development of r-IEL is FcRγ-dependent, probably due to the predominant usage of FcRγ homodimers in the TCR complex. These results indicate that the FcRγ chain contributes differently to the TCR expression and to the development of T cells localized in epithelia.