Studying Peripheral T Cell Homeostasis in Mice: A Concise Technical Review
For several years, it was believed that the thymus was entirely responsible for maintaining T cell homeostasis. Today, it is well-known that homeostatic peripheral mechanisms are essential in order to maintain T cell numbers and diversity constant in the periphery. Naïve and memory T cells require continual access to self-peptide MHC class I and II molecules and/or cytokines to survive in the periphery. Under normal conditions, homeostatic resources are low, and lymphocytes undergo very slow proliferation and survive. Following T cell depletion, the bioavailability of homeostatic resources is significantly increased, and T cell proliferation is dramatically augmented. The development of lymphopenic mouse models has helped our current understanding of factors involved in the regulation of peripheral T cell homeostasis. In this minireview, we will give a brief overview about basic techniques used to study peripheral T cell homeostasis in mice.
Key wordsLymphopenia Homeostasis Lymphocytes CD4 CD8
This work was supported by grants from the Cancer Research Society of Canada (grant no. 22669 and 24380 to M.G.) and in part by a grant from the Foundation de l’Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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