Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The CD4 and CD8 molecules are involved in T cell differentiation and activation. Nevertheless, efficient thymic maturation of helper T cells has been shown in the absence of the CD4 molecule. These CD4-deficient helper T cells expressed alpha beta-TCR and were able to control Leishmania infections and to mediate Ab class switch. Using mice deficient for the CD8 alpha-chain, we investigated whether a similar cytotoxic T cell population was generated in the absence of the CD8 coreceptor. A CD8-deficient cytotoxic T cell population corresponding to the described CD4-deficient helper T cell population was virtually absent both functionally and physically. These results support the idea that thymic maturation is asymmetrical and strongly biased toward the helper phenotype.


Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





3727 - 3733


Animals, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic, Flow Cytometry, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, Isoantigens, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Mutant Strains, Phenotype, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus