Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 2573531
Eur. J. Immunol. 1989 Oct;19(10):1921-6
A panel of geographically separate Mus m. domesticus and Swiss mice from several sources was screened for deletions in the T cell receptor variable (V) beta locus. Four out of forty-three strains tested show a deletion identical to or larger than the deletion previously described in SJL mice. To our knowledge, this is the first time that such important V beta deletions are described in inbred or partially inbred wild-derived strains of mice. On the other hand there seems to be very little polymorphism between the remaining V beta genes. Expression of V beta genes in peripheral and intra-thymic T cells was tested using antibodies specific for different V beta polypeptide chains. Flow cytometry analysis revealed a high expression of V beta 6 and V beta 17 genes in the Copacabana Swiss-derived strain and an absence of V beta 17 expression in the WLA wild-derived strain. The three Mus m. domesticus strains (WLA, DDO and WBG) having deleted two to three additional V beta subfamilies compared to SJL present no apparent immune deficiencies or autoimmune disorders. We conclude that relatively few V beta genes may suffice for unimpaired survival of wild mice and that there is a selective pressure for the structural conservation of the remaining V beta genes.