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To obtain further information about the ontogeny of the T-cell antigen/MHC receptor, a Ti beta subunit cDNA probe and heteroantisera specific for the Ti alpha and Ti beta subunits were utilized to characterize human T-lineage cells. Analysis of thymic tumors and normal thymocytes at both the DNA and protein levels demonstrates that Ti beta gene rearrangement is evident in stage II (T11+T6+T3-) and stage III (T11+T6-T3+), but not stage I (T11+T6-T3-) thymocytes. In contrast, surface expression of Ti alpha and Ti beta molecules is exclusively restricted to stage III thymocytes. Thus human T-lineage ontogeny is characterized by an orderly series of differentiation steps wherein Ti beta gene rearrangement precedes surface expression of the T3-Ti molecular complex.


Journal article



Publication Date





261 - 266


Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Genes, Humans, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Phenotype, Receptors, Antigen, Rosette Formation, T-Lymphocytes, Thymus Gland, Thymus Neoplasms