JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results





Immunology and Infection

Retroviral Transduction of Bone Marrow Progenitor Cells to Generate T-cell Receptor Retrogenic Mice

Published: July 11th, 2016



1Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine

We present a rapid and flexible protocol for a single T cell receptor (TCR) retroviral-based in vivo expression system. Retroviral vectors are used to transduce bone marrow progenitor cells to study T cell development and function of a single TCR in vivo as an alternative to TCR transgenic mice.

T cell receptor (TCR) signaling is essential in the development and differentiation of T cells in the thymus and periphery, respectively. The vast array of TCRs proves studying a specific antigenic response difficult. Therefore, TCR transgenic mice were made to study positive and negative selection in the thymus as well as peripheral T cell activation, proliferation and tolerance. However, relatively few TCR transgenic mice have been generated specific to any given antigen. Thus, studies involving TCRs of varying affinities for the same antigenic peptide have been lacking. The generation of a new TCR transgenic line can take six or more months. Additionally, any specific backcrosses can take an additional six months. In order to allow faster generation and screening of multiple TCRs, a protocol for retroviral transduction of bone marrow was established with stoichiometric expression of the TCRα and TCRβ chains and the generation of retrogenic mice. Each retrogenic mouse is essentially a founder, virtually negating a founder effect, while the length of time to generate a TCR retrogenic is cut from six months to approximately six weeks. Here we present a rapid and flexible alternative to TCR transgenic mice that can be expressed on any chosen background with any particular TCR.

T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of humans and mice has been estimated at 1 x 108 and 2 x 106 unique TCRs respectively1,2. This large diversity allows T cells to recognize a vast array of antigen epitopes derived from self-peptides as well as from pathogens presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on antigen presenting cells (APCs). The subtle differences in the interactions of the TCRs with unique peptide-MHC complexes dictate whether a T cell will undergo apoptosis, anergy, activation, differentiation, cytokine production or cytotoxicity. However, due to the large TCR repertoire, analysis of how a specific TCR will res....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Ethics Statement: Every effort is made to keep animal discomfort or stress to a minimum during irradiation and tail vein injections. Mice are used as a source of cells in these experiments; as such there are no procedures or manipulations apart from euthanasia. Mice will be euthanized by CO2 inhalation followed by cervical dislocation to confirm death. This procedure is consistent with the recommendations of the Panel on Euthanasia of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Prepar.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Bone marrow transduction efficiency is checked at step 13.3 of the protocol before the bone marrow is injected into tail vein i.v. In the representative bone marrow transduction figure (Figure 1A), approximately 10-μl of the harvested bone marrow was added to 100-μl of PBS and analyzed for ametrine expression. Generally the percentage of fluorescent positive cells is between 25% and 70%, depending on the construct and retroviral titer. After 6 weeks bone marrow .......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

In the protocol, we detail several critical steps to ensure optimal bone marrow health, transduction efficiency and reconstitution. First critical step is the generation and proper maintenance of the GP+E86 viral producer cells. Use early passage producer cell lines and maintain at 80% confluency or lower prior to use. When making fresh GP+E86 viral producer cells, ensure the 293T cells are early passage and growing in culture for 24 - 48 hr. Plating too many GP+E86 cells during the transduction step will lower viral tit.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This work was supported by grants from NIH (5K22A1119151-01 and 1R56DK104903-01) to M.L.B, Pilot/Feasibility Program of the Diabetes Research Center (P30-DK079638) at BCM, JDRF 1-FAC-2014-243-A-N APF, ADA 1-15-JF-07, AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship to M.B., and The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation.


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
DMEM, high glucose + glutamine Corning Cellgro 10-013-CV Dulbecco's Modification of Eagle's Medium with 4.5 g/L glucose, L-glutamine & sodium pyruvate
FBS Atlanta Biological S11550
Trypsin-Versene Lonza 17-161F
0.45 um syringe filter Thermo Scientific 194-2545
polybrene Sigma H9268-10G Sterile Filtered in dH2O
Ciprofloxacin  VWR AAJ61970-06
5-fluorouracil (5-FU) VWR AAA13456-06
Sodium Pyruvate Corning Cellgro 25-000-CI
MEM nonessential Amino Acids Corning Cellgro 25-025-CI
HEPES 1M solution Corning Cellgro 25-060-CI
2-Mercaptoethanol Gibco by Life Technologies 21985-023
Pen/Strept Corning Cellgro 30-002-CI
L-glutamine Corning Cellgro 25-005-CI
150 mm tissue culture dishes Greiner Bio-one 639160
Tisue culture-treated 6-well flat plate Greiner Bio-one 657160
70 um nylon cell strainers Falcon 352350
Mouse IL-3 Invitrogen PMC0033
Human IL-6 Invitrogen  PHC0063
Mouse Stem Cell Factor Invitrogen PMC2113L
10x PBS Corning Cellgro 46-D13-CM
HANKS Buffer Corning Cellgro 21020147
BD 10 mL Syringe BD 300912
BD 1 mL Syringe BD 309659
27G x 1/2 BD Precision Glide Needle BD 305109
30G x 1/2 BD Precision Glide Needle BD 305106

  1. Qi, Q., et al. Diversity and clonal selection in the human T-cell repertoire. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111, 13139-13144 (2014).
  2. Zarnitsyna, V. I., Evavold, B. D., Schoettle, L. N., Blattman, J. N., Antia, R. Estimating the diversity, completeness, and cross-reactivity of the T cell repertoire. Frontiers in immunology. 4, 485 (2013).
  3. Kisielow, P., Bluthmann, H., Staerz, U. D., Steinmetz, M., von Boehmer, H. Tolerance in T-cell-receptor transgenic mice involves deletion of nonmature CD4+8+ thymocytes. Nature. 333, 742-746 (1988).
  4. Hogquist, K. A., et al. T cell receptor antagonist peptides induce positive selection. Cell. 76, 17-27 (1994).
  5. Verdaguer, J., et al. Spontaneous autoimmune diabetes in monoclonal T cell nonobese diabetic mice. J Exp Med. 186, 1663-1676 (1997).
  6. Katz, J. D., Wang, B., Haskins, K., Benoist, C., Mathis, D. Following a diabetogenic T cell from genesis through pathogenesis. Cell. 74, 1089-1100 (1993).
  7. Pauza, M. E., et al. T-cell receptor transgenic response to an endogenous polymorphic autoantigen determines susceptibility to diabetes. Diabetes. 53, 978-988 (2004).
  8. Jasinski, J. M., et al. Transgenic insulin (B:9-23) T-cell receptor mice develop autoimmune diabetes dependent upon RAG genotype, H-2g7 homozygosity, and insulin 2 gene knockout. Diabetes. 55, 1978-1984 (2006).
  9. Kersh, G. J., et al. TCR transgenic mice in which usage of transgenic alpha- and beta-chains is highly dependent on the level of selecting ligand. Journal of immunology. 161, 585-593 (1998).
  10. Bettini, M. L., Bettini, M., Vignali, D. A. TCR retrogenic mice: A rapid, flexible alternative to TCR transgenic mice. Immunology. 136 (3), 265-272 (2012).
  11. Holst, J., et al. Generation of T-cell receptor retrogenic mice. Nat Protoc. 1, 406-417 (2006).
  12. Holst, J., Vignali, K. M., Burton, A. R., Vignali, D. A. Rapid analysis of T-cell selection in vivo using T cell-receptor retrogenic mice. Nat Methods. 3, 191-197 (2006).
  13. Bettini, M. L., Bettini, M., Nakayama, M., Guy, C. S., Vignali, D. A. Generation of T cell receptor-retrogenic mice: improved retroviral-mediated stem cell gene transfer. Nat Protoc. 8, 1837-1840 (2013).
  14. Donnelly, M. L., et al. Analysis of the aphthovirus 2A/2B polyprotein 'cleavage' mechanism indicates not a proteolytic reaction, but a novel translational effect: a putative ribosomal 'skip'. J Gen Virol. 82, 1013-1025 (2001).
  15. Atkins, J. F., et al. A case for "StopGo": reprogramming translation to augment codon meaning of GGN by promoting unconventional termination (Stop) after addition of glycine and then allowing continued translation (Go). RNA. 13, 803-810 (2007).
  16. Doronina, V. A., et al. Site-specific release of nascent chains from ribosomes at a sense codon. Mol Cell Biol. 28, 4227-4239 (2008).
  17. Bettini, M., et al. TCR affinity and tolerance mechanisms converge to shape T cell diabetogenic potential. Journal of immunology. 193, 571-579 (2014).
  18. Brehm, M. A., Wiles, M. V., Greiner, D. L., Shultz, L. D. Generation of improved humanized mouse models for human infectious diseases. J Immunol Methods. 410, 3-17 (2014).
  19. Brehm, M. A., Shultz, L. D., Greiner, D. L. Humanized mouse models to study human diseases. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 17, 120-125 (2010).
  20. Chaplin, P. J., et al. Production of interleukin-12 as a self-processing 2A polypeptide. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 19, 235-241 (1999).
  21. Collison, L. W., et al. The inhibitory cytokine IL-35 contributes to regulatory T-cell function. Nature. 450, 566-569 (2007).
  22. Holst, J., et al. Scalable signaling mediated by T cell antigen receptor-CD3 ITAMs ensures effective negative selection and prevents autoimmunity. Nature immunology. 9, 658-666 (2008).
  23. Kalos, M., et al. T cells with chimeric antigen receptors have potent antitumor effects and can establish memory in patients with advanced leukemia. Sci Transl Med. 3, 95ra73 (2011).
  24. VanSeggelen, H., et al. T Cells Engineered With Chimeric Antigen Receptors Targeting NKG2D Ligands Display Lethal Toxicity in Mice. Mol Ther. 23, 1600-1610 (2015).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved