Assembly of Productive T Cell Receptor δ Variable Region Genes Exhibits Allelic Inclusion

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The generation of a productive "in-frame" T cell receptor β (TCR β), immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy (H) or Ig light (L) chain variable region gene can result in the cessation of rearrangement of the alternate allele, a process referred to as allelic exclusion. This process ensures that most αβ T cells express a single TCR β chain and most B cells express single IgH and IgL chains. Assembly of TCR α and TCR γ chain variable region genes exhibit allelic inclusion and αβ and γδ T cells can express two TCR α or TCR γ chains, respectively. However, it was not known whether assembly of TCR δ variable regions genes is regulated in the context of allelic exclusion. To address this issue, we have analyzed TCR δ rearrangements in a panel of mouse splenic γδ T cell hybridomas. We find that, similar to TCR α and γ variable region genes, assembly of TCR δ variable region genes exhibits properties of allelic inclusion. These findings are discussed in the context of γδ T cell development and regulation of rearrangement of TCR δ genes.

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