• CD4;
  • CD8;
  • Mtv;
  • Knockout mice


CD4CD8 double-negative T cells constitute a lymphocyte subpopulation within the thymus and peripheral lymphatic organs that express a unique T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire and do not undergo negative selection. To test whether these cells develop as a distinct lineage or due to altered selection in the absence of CD4 and CD8 expression, we analyzed the TCR repertoire in mice lacking both CD4 and CD8 accessory molecules after homologous recombination (CD40/0CD80/0). We show that mature T cells of CD40/0CD80/0 mice express an unbiased diverse TCR Vβ repertoire comparable to wild type mice. In addition, clonal deletion of mouse mammary tumor virus superantigen-reactive T cells did occur in CD40/0CD80/0 mice. These data show that the intrinsic lack of CD4 and CD8 expression has no effect on the mature TCR repertoire and that clonal deletion of superantigen-reactive cells is independent of CD4 and CD8 co-receptors.