Identification and cellular distribution of the rat interleukin-2 receptor β chain: induction of the IL-2Rαβ+ phenotype by major histocompatibility complex class I recognition during T cell development in vivo and by T cell receptor stimulation of CD4+8+ immature thymocytes in vitro

Authors

  • Jung-Hyun Park,

    1. Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Peptide Engineering R.U., Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Yusong, Taejon, Korea
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  • Thomas Hanke,

    1. Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Thomas Hünig

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
    • Institut für Virologie und Immunbiologie, Versbacher Str. 7, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany
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Abstract

A mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb) to the rat interleukin-2 receptor β (IL-2Rβ) chain was generated using IL-2Rβ cDNA-transfected mouse L929 cells for immunization and differential screening. This antibody, called L316, detects a cell surface protein with an apparent molecular mass of about 80 kDa. In peripheral lymphoid organs of young adult rats, IL-2Rβ expression is restricted to T and natural killer (NK) cells, and less than 10% of IL-2Rβ+ cells co-express the IL-2Rα chain. IL-2Rβ was detected on all NKRP-1hi (NK) and NKRP-1lo cells (T-lineage cells of unknown function), most peripheral γδ T cells and on 30–40% of CD8 and 10% of CD4 αβ T cells. In the adult rat thymus, mAb L316 detects a small subset (about 1%) of predominantly IL-2Rα cells which express cell surface markers characteristic of mature T lymphocytes and contain a high proportion of CD48 and CD48+ αβ T cell receptor (TCR)+ thymocytes. TCR-V usage suggests that major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I plays a more important role than MHC class II in the selection of these cells. On immature CD4+8+ rat thymocytes, IL-2Rβ cell surface expression is readily induced by TCR stimulation in vitro, supporting the idea that in vivo, the IL-2Rβ+ phenotype is the result of TCR engagement during thymic selection.

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