The repertoire of variable α (AV) and β (BV) TCR genes was compared in the peripheral blood anti BAL fluid of five healthy individuals. Rearranged TCR transcripts were amplified by a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, using oligonucleotide primers specific for 22 AV and 24 BV gene families. Nearly all AV and BV gene families were expressed in BAL T cells at levels similar to those in blood T cells. The diversity of AV and BV gene repertoire was examined further, testing the distribution of nucleotide lengths of TCR junctional regions. Most V gene families had a normal distribution of junctional region lengths in both blood and BAL T cells. Some gene families, particularly AV and BV9 in BAL samples, had a skewed banding pattern, with fewer bands or predominance of several bands. The limited diversity in TCR junctional region lengths was more prominent in CD8' T cells from BAL fluids than from blood. CD4+ T cells also contributed to the limited diversity in BAL T cells. The oligoclonal expansion of bronchoalveolar CD8+ T cells was confirmed by sequence analysis of AV21 constant α (AC) and BV9 BC junctional regions in the blood and BAL cells. The levels of V gene expression and the diversity of junctional region lengths were very similar in T cells obtained from three separate lobes of one donor. In general, skewed patterns of TCR junctional region lengths were not consistent over time in two donors, over period of 3 and 17 months. Together, these data show that the T-cell repertoire is diverse within the lungs of normal humans, except for an oligoclonal predominance of a few V gene families in both CD4' and CD8 T cells. The T-cell repertoire in the lungs changes over time which may environmental exposures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy