Mouse NK1+ T cells constitute a subset of α/β TCR+ T cells that specialize in the rapid production of cytokines, in particular IL-4, and may promote the differentiation of Th2-type CD4 T cells. Their TCRs, like those of a homologous subset of human T cells, use an invariant TCR α chain and were recently shown to be specific for the β2-microglobulin-associated, MHC class I-like CD1 molecules, which are encoded outside the MHC. In contrast to mainstream thymocytes, which recognize their positively selecting MHC ligand on thymic epithelial cells, positive selection of NK1+ T cells requires their CD1 ligand to be expressed on bone marrow-derived cells. To investigate the nature of the bone marrow-derived cell involved, chimeric mice were constructed with tissues from normal, SCID, and MHC-deficient mice, so that CD1 could be selectively expressed by different subsets of bone marrow-derived cells in the thymus. CD1 expression was also directly assessed using an anti-CD1 mAb, and a CD1- specific T cell hybridoma. The results suggest that immature (CD4+8+ double-positive) cortical thymocytes are the source of CD1 presentation for positive selection ofNK1+ T cells. © 1995, Rockefeller University Press., All rights reserved.
Bendelac, A. (1995). Positive selection of mouse NK1+ T cells by CD1-expressing cortical thymocytes. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 182(6), 2091–2096. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.182.6.2091