Phenotypic and Functional Heterogeneity of Double Negative (CD4-CD8-) αβ TcR+ T Cell Clones

  • J. G. Murison
  • Sonia Quaratino
  • M. Londei
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 173)


The CD4 and CD8 T cell markers are useful phenotypic landmarks which in general terms divide the T cell pool into those cells which aid B cell responses and T cells with cytotoxic capabilities. CD4+ T cells respond to antigen in the context of class II MHC and are predominantly helpers of B cell responses whereas CD8+ T cells are stimulated by antigen in the context of class I MHC and function as cytotoxic T cells. It has been assumed that all mature T cells express either of these markers, however, recently a T cell subpopulation has been described which lack both CD4 and CD8. The majority of these double negative T cells bear the alternative γδ T cell receptor (TcR) with between 7% (Bender and Kabelitz, 1990) and 38% (Scott, 1990) being αβ T cell receptor positive. T cells with this phenotype are known to exist in the thymus but are thought to be immature and destined to either die or differentiate into mature single-positive (CD4+ CD8 or CD4 CD8+) T cells. Therefore their existence in the periphery indicates either the existence of a novel mature T cell subset or leakage of immature cells from the thymus.


Lupus Nephritis Cell Clone Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Chromium Release Assay Double Negative Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. G. Murison
    • 1
  • Sonia Quaratino
    • 1
  • M. Londei
    • 1
  1. 1.Charing Cross Sunley Research CentreHammersmith, LondonEngland

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