Expression of TCR genes in adult and larval Xenopus laevis.


Chatham University, Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15232, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


In order to better understand the development and function of γδ T cells in Xenopus frogs, it is necessary to determine where and when γδ T cells are found in Xenopus tissues. This study examined the expression of TCR genes, focused primarily on TCR γ, in tissues of adult and larval Xenopus laevis and provide new data about the expression pattern of these different TCR genes in this anuran amphibian. TCR gene expression was detected by RT-PCR in adult frog tissues including the thymus, spleen, skin, intestine, lung, and liver, but not the testes. TCR γ and β genes were detected in the larval (tadpole) tail and intestine. The absence of RAG-1 expression in these larval tissues is consistent with differentiation of the T cells in the thymus. Together, these data provide evidence that migration of these cells from the thymus likely occurs relatively early in larval development. These studies provide a necessary foundation for future studies of the functions of γδ T cells in amphibians, which are placed at an intermediate position flanked by fishes on one end and mammals and chickens on the other.

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