Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11034373
J. Immunol. 2000 Oct;165(7):3689-94
In this paper we compare survival characteristics of transgenic and polyclonal CD4 and CD8 T cells. Transgenic CD4 T cells have an intrinsically lower capacity for survival, reflected in their gradual disappearance in thymectomized hosts, their increased sensitivity to apoptosis in vitro, and fewer divisions during homeostatic proliferation upon transfer into syngeneic lymphopenic hosts compared with CD8 T cells. Homeostatic proliferation, however, does not generally result in phenotypic conversion of activation markers unless cognate or cross-reactive Ag is present. T cells from the A18 TCR transgenic strain normally selected into the CD4 lineage are fragile as CD4 T cells, yet display the typical robust survival pattern of CD8 T cells when diverted into the CD8 lineage in a CD4-deficient host. Polyclonal CD4 and CD8 T cells also show distinctive patterns of survival, emphasizing that survival signals are relayed differently in the two lymphocyte subpopulations. However, expression levels of Bcl-2 in either transgenic or polyclonal naive CD4 and CD8 T cells are similar, excluding a role for this molecule as a key factor in differential survival of CD4 vs CD8 T cells.