Negative selection of thymocytes: A novel polymerase chain reaction-based molecular analysis detects requirements for macromolecular synthesis

L. D'Adamio, L. K. Clayton, K. M. Awad, E. L. Reinherz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Self-tolerance is mainly established through clonal deletion of autoreactive T cells during thymic differentiation. The mechanisms by which deletion is achieved are poorly understood. Here we use a specific polymerase chain reaction-based system to characterize DNA fragmentation and show that after in vivo treatment of neonatal mice with staphylococcus enterotoxin B, selective apoptosis of Vβ8+ thymocytes occurs. This process precedes detectable deletion of Vβ8+ cells as determined by phenotypic analysis. Moreover, in vivo administration of cycloheximide and, to a lesser extent, actinomycin D, inhibits apoptosis of staphylococcus enterotoxin B specific thymocytes. Thus, macromolecular synthesis is a requirement for negative selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3550-3553
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this