Apparent bypass of negative selection in CD8(+) tumours in CD2-myc transgenic mice

E R Cameron, M Campbell, K Blyth, S A Argyle, L Keanie, J C Neil, D E Onions

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A role for antigen stimulation in lymphoid neoplasia has been postulated and is supported by indirect evidence that suggests that the interaction of antigen with both T cells and B cells may constitute an epigenetic event that can contribute to tumour induction or tumour progression. Using myc-bearing transgenic mice that develop mainly clonal T-cell lymphomas we have investigated the possibility that endogenous antigen-mediated clonal deletion might be overridden in tumorigenesis. CD2-mye transgenic mice were backcrossed on to a CBA/Ca background to ensure Mtv-mediated deletion of V beta 11-expressing T cells in the resultant offspring. Lymphomas arising from these mice were subsequently screened for V beta 11 expression. There was a clear correlation between the age at which mice developed neoplasia and the tumour phenotype. Mice with CD4(-) CD8(+) tumours succumbed to thymic lymphoma at a significantly younger age than mice developing CD4(+) CD8(+) tumours. A small number of tumours consisted of the 'forbidden' V beta 11 phenotype, showing that cells vulnerable to transformation could escape negative selection. The majority of the V beta 11-positive tumours were CD4(-) CD8(+) and were only observed in mice showing clinical evidence of tumour development at a relatively young age. The phenotype of these cells and the age at which tumours arose suggests that T cells escaping tolerance may be susceptible to transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996

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