Qa-2 expression in the adult murine thymus. A unique marker for a mature thymic subset

J. Vernachio, M. Li, A. D. Donnenberg, M. J. Soloski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The MHC Ag, Qa-2, is expressed on all peripheral T cells, a subset of bone marrow cells, and to a lesser extent on B cells, The Qa-2 Ag is also expressed on 5 to 6% of normal adult murine thymocytes. Through the use of flow cytometry, counterflow centrifugal elutriation and acridine orange staining, we have analyzed the cell surface phenotype, cell size, and cell cycle status of this thymic population. Our studies indicate that Qa-2+ thymocytes are large, non-mitotic, G1 cells which have the cell surface phenotype of CD5+, CD3+, J11d(LO) and lack receptors for peanut agglutinin. This population can be further subdivided into three categories; CD4+/CD8-, CD4-/CD8+, and CD4-/CD8-. These data indicate that Qa-2 surface expression can only be detected on thymocytes in the final stages of differentiation. The Qa-2 Ag can be used as a cell surface marker to identify a unique subset of mature thymocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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