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Sci. STKE, 15 February 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 271, p. tw68
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2712005tw68]

EDITORS' CHOICE

IMMUNOLOGY Earliest Influences

The two main lineages of T cells to emerge from the thymus are distinguished by the T cell receptors that they carry, either αβ or {gamma}{delta}, which confer distinctive functional properties on each cell type. Within the thymus, the development of the two lineages has been thought to occur independently. Silva-Santos et al. (see the Perspective by Rothenberg) now show that the features peculiar to {gamma}{delta} T cells are not generated autonomously but are conferred directly on the cells by their immature αβ thymic counterparts. This process required signaling via a pathway already known to be essential for lymphoid organogenesis and generating effective immune responses. Thus, the developmental interaction between two lineages of T cells imparts fundamental features on one of the cell types.

B. Silva-Santos, D. J. Pennington, A. C. Hayday, Lymphotoxin-mediated regulation of {gamma}{delta} cell differentiation by αβ T cell progenitors. Science 307, 925-928 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

E. V. Rothenberg, Thymic regulation--hidden in plain sight. Science 307, 858-859 (2005). [Summary] [Full Text]

Citation: Earliest Influences. Sci. STKE 2005, tw68 (2005).



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