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Whereas most T cells express surface CD4 or CD8 molecules, a minority lacks both. CD4-8- cells usually express the gamma delta T-cell receptor, but here we describe a population of CD4-8- T cells from the peripheral blood that express the alpha beta heterodimer. These cells have different surface antigens than gamma delta+ T cells, expressing CD5 but lacking CD16, and differ in function from gamma delta+ T cells. CD4-8- alpha beta+ cells lack non-major histocompatibility complex-restricted cytolytic function but can be induced to lyse their target cells after activation of their T-cell receptors. A peculiar characteristic of these cells is their responsiveness to interleukin 3. Since these cells have not altered their phenotype or function over a 12-month period in culture, they appear to be mature T cells. The results indicate that normal human peripheral blood contains two subsets of CD4-8- T cells, expressing either gamma delta or alpha beta receptors, that differ in function, phenotype, and growth control.

Original publication

DOI

10.1073/pnas.86.21.8502

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Publication Date

11/1989

Volume

86

Pages

8502 - 8506

Addresses

Charing Cross Sunley Research Centre, Hammersmith, London, England.

Keywords

T-Lymphocytes, Cell Line, Humans, Macromolecular Substances, Interleukin-3, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Antigens, CD4, Antigens, CD, Antigens, CD8, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Interleukin-2, Interleukin-4, Lymphocyte Activation, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Phenotype