This report describes an avian TCR molecule, TCR1, whose molecular characteristics, signal-transducing property, and tissue distribution suggest that it is a homologue of the mammalian TCR-gamma/delta. TCR1+ cells are the first to be generated in the thymus during ontogeny, preceding other T3+ cells by approximately 3 d. Unlike their mammalian counterpart, TCR1+ cells constitute a relatively large subpopulation of peripheral T cells in mature chickens. These results suggest a phylogenetically important role for this receptor in T cell development and function.

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