We have generated a rat mAb, TR310, which recognizes a determinant encoded by the murine V beta 7 gene segment of the TCR. TR310 immunoprecipitates TCR from cell lysates, co-modulates with CD3, and can be used for immunofluorescence staining of T cells. By using this antibody, we found that the average percentage of V beta 7+ peripheral T cells in Mls-1b mice was 3.8%, but only 0.8% in Mls-1a mice. A similar difference was also observed in the mature TCRhi thymocyte subsets, suggesting that V beta 7+ T cells are deleted during intrathymic maturation in Mls-1a mice. TR310 should prove to be a valuable reagent in further studies of the TCR repertoire and the analysis of factors which alter it.

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