Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Presence of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency disease.

Document Type


Publication Date



Antigens-CD4: an, Antigens-Differentiation: an, Antigens-Differentiation-T-Lymphocyte: an, Antigens-Surface: an, Cell-Differentiation, Epithelium: im, cy, Immunoenzyme-Technics, Immunologic-Deficiency-Syndromes: im, Intestines: im, cy, Lymphocytes: im, cy, Mice, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Receptors-Antigen-T-Cell: an, ge, RNA-Messenger: an, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Location

Reprint Collection : 1930

JAX Source

Eur J Immunol 1990 Mar; 20(3):645-51.




The murine intestinal epithelium contains a heterogeneous population of intraepithelial leukocytes (IEL) most of which are granulated, Thy-1-CD5-CD8+. In order to assess the lineage relationship of this subgroup of IEL to peripheral T cells, we examined IEL in mice with the severe combined immunodeficiency (scid/scid) mutation, which lack T and B cells in peripheral lymphoid tissues. Electron and light microscopy showed that the intestine from scid/scid mice had granulated IEL similar to IEL in normal C.B-17 mice. Flow cytometry of isolated IEL stained with monoclonal antibodies against Thy-1, CD3, CD4, CD5 and CD8 showed that scid/scid mice IEL contained cells with the Thy-1-CD4-CD5-CD8+ phenotype. Immunohistochemical staining of IEL in tissue sections with antibodies to Thy-1 and CD8 confirmed that the Thy-1-CD8+ cells were in the intestinal epithelium. These scid/scid IEL also lacked CD3 expression and mRNA for the V gamma 7 V region gene of the gamma T cell receptor. We conclude that scid/scid mice contain precursors for IEL that can differentiate into a granulated Thy-1-CD5-CD8+ IEL in the intestine. The absence of CD8+ peripheral T cells in these mice suggests that these IEL differ from classical T cells in their ability to differentiate and express CD8 and do not require T cell receptor expression for their localization to the intestine.