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CD3gamma and CD3delta are two highly related components of the T cell receptor (TCR)-CD3 complex which is essential for the assembly and signal transduction of the T cell receptor on mature T cells. In gene knockout mice deficient in either CD3delta or CD3gamma, early thymic development mediated by pre-TCR was either undisturbed or severely blocked, respectively, and small numbers of TCR-alphabeta+ T cells were detected in the periphery of both mice. gammadelta T cell development was either normal in CD3delta-/- mice or partially blocked in CD3gamma-/- mice. To examine the collective role of CD3gamma and CD3delta in the assembly and function of pre-TCR and in the development of gammadelta T cells, we generated a mouse strain with a disruption in both CD3gamma and CD3delta genes (CD3gammadelta-/-). In contrast to mice deficient in either CD3gamma or CD3delta chains, early thymic development mediated by pre-TCR is completely blocked, and TCR-alphabeta+ or TCR-gammadelta+ T cells were absent in the CD3gammadelta-/- mice. Taken together, these studies demonstrated that CD3gamma and CD3delta play an essential, yet partially overlapping, role in the development of both alphabeta and gammadelta T cell lineages.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Med

Publication Date





1375 - 1380


Animals, CD3 Complex, Leukopoiesis, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta, T-Lymphocytes