Mice with fibroblast-specific expression of TAP-1 were generated by expressing the TAP-1 transgene under the control of the fibroblast-specific protein (FSP) 1 promoter/enhancer on TAP-1 deficient background. MHC class I expression in primary fibroblast cultures isolated from the resulting strain mimicked that of wild-type counterparts. MHC class I was detected in both types of fibroblasts following treatment with IFN-αβ. Positive selection of CD4-CD8+ thymocytes was observed in neither adult nor fetal/neonatal thymus of transgenic mice. IFN-αβ-induced expression of MHC class I rescued positive selection of CD4-CD8+ T cells in fetal thymic organ cultures, but not in adult mice. Contrary to previous suggestions, our results indicate a limited role of fibroblasts in promoting positive selection. In addition, the results suggest that positive selection may occur by a different mechanism in fetal vs adult thymus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy