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Semin Immunol. 2005 Oct;17(5):356-61.

Reevaluating current models of thymic involution.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 173216, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


It is generally accepted that thymic involution commences, or at least accelerates, at puberty due to increases in sex steroid and declines in growth hormone production. As a result of these hormonal changes, the development of the most immature intrathymic progenitors is blocked. However, aspects of this model are now being questioned. The present chapter re-evaluates a number of findings on which traditional models of thymic involution are based and reviews new data that, taken together, indicate a need to revise current views of thymic involution.

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