In this study, the cytokine-producing profile of progenitor T cells (pro-T cells) was determined. During screening of a complementary DNA library generated from activated mouse pro-T cells, a cytokine designated lymphotactin was discovered. Lymphotactin is similar to members of both the Cys-Cys and Cys-X-Cys chemokine families but lacks two of the four cysteine residues that are characteristic of the chemokines. Lymphotactin is also expressed in activated CD8+ T cells and CD4-CD8- T cell receptor αβ+ thymocytes. It has chemotactic activity for lymphocytes but not for monocytes or neutrophils. The gene encoding lymphotactin maps to chromosome one. Taken together, these observations suggest that lymphotactin represents a novel addition to the chemokine superfamily.
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