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Title: Premature thymic involution is independent of structural plasticity of the thymic stroma
Authors: Franckaert, Dean *
Schlenner, Susan *
Heirman, Nathalie
Gill, Jason
Skogberg, Gabriel
Ekwall, Olov
Put, Karen
Linterman, Michelle A
Dooley, James #
Liston, Adrian # ×
Issue Date: May-2015
Publisher: Wiley-VCH
Series Title: European Journal of Immunology vol:45 issue:5 pages:1535-47
Article number: 10.1002/eji.201445277
Abstract: The thymus is the organ devoted to T-cell production. The thymus undergoes multiple rounds of atrophy and redevelopment before degenerating with age in a process known as involution. This process is poorly understood, despite the influence the phenomenon has on peripheral T-cell numbers. Here we have investigated the FVB/N mouse strain, which displays premature thymic involution. We find multiple architectural and cellular features that precede thymic involution, including disruption of the epithelial-endothelial relationship and a progressive loss of pro-T cells. The architectural features, reminiscent of the human thymus, are intrinsic to the nonhematopoietic compartment and are neither necessary nor sufficient for thymic involution. By contrast, the loss of pro-T cells is intrinsic to the hematopoietic compartment, and is sufficient to drive premature involution. These results identify pro-T-cell loss as the main driver of premature thymic involution, and highlight the plasticity of the thymic stroma, capable of maintaining function across diverse interstrain architectures.
URI: 
ISSN: 0014-2980
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory of Genetics of Autoimmunity
Laboratory of Immunobiology (Rega Institute)
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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