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Trends Immunol. 2002 Jun;23(6):305-13.

Intrathymic T-cell migration: a combinatorial interplay of extracellular matrix and chemokines?

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Laboratory on Thymus Research, Dept of Immunology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Ave Brasil 4365, Manguinhos, 21045-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Cell migration is crucial for intrathymic T-cell differentiation. Chemokines and extracellular matrix proteins per se induce thymocyte migration, and recent data suggest a combinatorial role for these molecules in this event. For example, thymocyte migration induced by fibronectin plus CXCL12/SDF1-alpha (stromal cell-derived factor1-alpha) is higher than that elicited by the chemokine alone. If such interactions are relevant in the thymus, abnormal expression of any of these ligands and/or their corresponding receptors will lead to defects in thymocyte migration. At least in the murine model of Chagas disease, this seems to be the case. Therefore a better knowledge of this complex biological circuitry will provide new clues for understanding thymus physiology and designing therapeutic strategies targeting developing T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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