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Semin Immunol. 2005 Aug;17(4):304-12.

Heterogeneity of thymic dendritic cells.

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The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G, Royal Parade, Parkville, Vic. 3050, Australia.


Thymus is the site of generation and selection of T-lymphocytes. It also contains phenotypically and functionally distinct dendritic cell (DC) populations, including conventional DC (cDC) and plasmacytoid DC (pDC). Thymic cDC are heterogeneous and contain two subsets: a major subset derived from the precursors within thymus, and a minor subset presumably of extrathymic origin. Increasing evidence suggest that thymic cDC can cross-present self-antigens to developing thymocytes and play an important role in thymocyte negative selection and central tolerance induction. Thymic pDC can produce type-I interferon upon appropriate activation. However, their role in a steady state thymus is currently unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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