Mice lacking TdT: Mature animals with an immature lymphocyte repertoire

Susan Gilfillan, Andrée Dierich, Marianne Lemeur, Christophe Benoist, Diane Mathis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

365 Scopus citations


In adult animals, template-independent (or N) nucleotides are frequently added during the rearrangement of variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) segments of lymphocyte receptor genes, greatly enhancing junctional diversity. Receptor genes from adult mice carrying a mutation in the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) gene have few N nucleotides, providing proof that this enzyme is essential for creating diversity. Unlike those from normal adults, receptor genes from adult mutant mice show extensive evidence of homology-directed recombination, suggesting that TdT blocks this process. Thus, switchon of the TdT gene during the first week after birth provokes an even greater expansion of lymphocyte receptor diversity than had previously been thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1178
Number of pages4
Issue number5125
StatePublished - 1993


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