Glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity and GC receptor expression differ in thymocyte subpopulations

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Abstract

Positive and negative selection steps in the thymus prevent non-functional or harmful T cells from reaching the periphery. To examine the role of glucocorticoid (GC) hormone and its intracellular receptor (GCR) in thymocyte development we measured the GCR expression in different thymocyte subpopulations of BALB/c mice with or without previous dexamethasone (DX), anti-CD3 mAb, RU-486 and RU-43044 treatment. Four-color labeling of thymocytes allowed detection of surface CD4/CD8/CD69 expression in parallel with intracellular GCR molecules by flow cytometry. Double-positive (DP) CD4+CD8+ thymocytes showed the lowest GCR expression compared to double-negative (DN) CD4-CD8- thymocytes and mature single-positive (SP) cells. DX treatment caused a concentration-dependent depletion of the DP cell population and increased appearance of mature SP cells with reduced GCR levels. GCR antagonists (RU-486 or RU-43044) did not influence the effect of DX on thymocyte composition; however, RU-43044 inhibited the high-dose GC-induced GCR down-regulation in SP and DN cells. GCR antagonists alone did not influence the maturation of thymocytes and receptor numbers. Combined low-dose anti-CD3 mAb and DX treatment caused an enhanced maturation (positive selection) of thymocytes followed by the elevation of CD69+ DP cells. The sensitivity of DP thymocytes with a GCRlow phenotype to GC action and the ineffectiveness of the GCR antagonist treatment may reflect a non-genomic GC action in the thymic selection steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Immunology
Volume14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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Glucocorticoid Receptors
Thymocytes
Glucocorticoids
Dexamethasone
Mifepristone
Thymus Gland
Flow Cytometry
Down-Regulation
Color
Hormones
T-Lymphocytes
Phenotype

Keywords

  • Annexin V
  • Anti-GCR mAb
  • Apoptosis
  • Dexamethasone
  • Negative selection
  • Positive selection
  • RU43044

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

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title = "Glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity and GC receptor expression differ in thymocyte subpopulations",
abstract = "Positive and negative selection steps in the thymus prevent non-functional or harmful T cells from reaching the periphery. To examine the role of glucocorticoid (GC) hormone and its intracellular receptor (GCR) in thymocyte development we measured the GCR expression in different thymocyte subpopulations of BALB/c mice with or without previous dexamethasone (DX), anti-CD3 mAb, RU-486 and RU-43044 treatment. Four-color labeling of thymocytes allowed detection of surface CD4/CD8/CD69 expression in parallel with intracellular GCR molecules by flow cytometry. Double-positive (DP) CD4+CD8+ thymocytes showed the lowest GCR expression compared to double-negative (DN) CD4-CD8- thymocytes and mature single-positive (SP) cells. DX treatment caused a concentration-dependent depletion of the DP cell population and increased appearance of mature SP cells with reduced GCR levels. GCR antagonists (RU-486 or RU-43044) did not influence the effect of DX on thymocyte composition; however, RU-43044 inhibited the high-dose GC-induced GCR down-regulation in SP and DN cells. GCR antagonists alone did not influence the maturation of thymocytes and receptor numbers. Combined low-dose anti-CD3 mAb and DX treatment caused an enhanced maturation (positive selection) of thymocytes followed by the elevation of CD69+ DP cells. The sensitivity of DP thymocytes with a GCRlow phenotype to GC action and the ineffectiveness of the GCR antagonist treatment may reflect a non-genomic GC action in the thymic selection steps.",
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T1 - Glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity and GC receptor expression differ in thymocyte subpopulations

AU - Berki, T.

AU - Pálinkás, L.

AU - Boldizsár, F.

AU - Németh, P.

PY - 2002

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N2 - Positive and negative selection steps in the thymus prevent non-functional or harmful T cells from reaching the periphery. To examine the role of glucocorticoid (GC) hormone and its intracellular receptor (GCR) in thymocyte development we measured the GCR expression in different thymocyte subpopulations of BALB/c mice with or without previous dexamethasone (DX), anti-CD3 mAb, RU-486 and RU-43044 treatment. Four-color labeling of thymocytes allowed detection of surface CD4/CD8/CD69 expression in parallel with intracellular GCR molecules by flow cytometry. Double-positive (DP) CD4+CD8+ thymocytes showed the lowest GCR expression compared to double-negative (DN) CD4-CD8- thymocytes and mature single-positive (SP) cells. DX treatment caused a concentration-dependent depletion of the DP cell population and increased appearance of mature SP cells with reduced GCR levels. GCR antagonists (RU-486 or RU-43044) did not influence the effect of DX on thymocyte composition; however, RU-43044 inhibited the high-dose GC-induced GCR down-regulation in SP and DN cells. GCR antagonists alone did not influence the maturation of thymocytes and receptor numbers. Combined low-dose anti-CD3 mAb and DX treatment caused an enhanced maturation (positive selection) of thymocytes followed by the elevation of CD69+ DP cells. The sensitivity of DP thymocytes with a GCRlow phenotype to GC action and the ineffectiveness of the GCR antagonist treatment may reflect a non-genomic GC action in the thymic selection steps.

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