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Science 290 (5489): 127-131

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Long-Term Survival But Impaired Homeostatic Proliferation of Naïve T Cells in the Absence of p56lck

Benedict Seddon,1 Giuseppe Legname,2 Peter Tomlinson,1 Rose Zamoyska1*

Interactions between the T cell receptor (TCR) and major histocompatibility complex antigens are essential for the survival and homeostasis of peripheral T lymphocytes. However, little is known about the TCR signaling events that result from these interactions. The peripheral T cell pool of p56lck (lck)-deficient mice was reconstituted by the expression of an inducible lck transgene. Continued survival of peripheral naïve T cells was observed for long periods after switching off the transgene. Adoptive transfer of T cells from these mice into T lymphopoienic hosts confirmed that T cell survival was independent of lck but revealed its essential role in TCR-driven homeostatic proliferation of naïve T cells in response to the T cell-deficient host environment. These data suggest that survival and homeostatic expansion depend on different signals.

1 Division of Molecular Immunology, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.
2 Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: rzamoys{at}nimr.mrc.ac.uk



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