To understand the gene regulation involved in the development of single-positive (SP) thymocytes, we generated transgenic mice in which the AML1 transcription factor is overexpressed. In these mice the number of CD8 SP thymocytes was greatly increased, and this continued to be true even when MHC class I was absent. This promotion to the CD8 SP lineage was not, however, observed when both class I and class II were absent. Furthermore, even thymocytes carrying MHC class II-restricted TCR differentiated into the CD8 SP lineage when AML1 was overexpressed. The selected CD8 SP cells were, however, unable to mature, as judged by the expression level of heat-stable Ag. Thus, overexpression of AML1 is able to skew class II-restricted thymocytes into the CD8 SP lineage, but not to drive the maturation of resulting selected CD8 SP cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy