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J Theor Biol. 2007 Nov 21;249(2):384-94. Epub 2007 Aug 9.

T cell development in the thymus: from periodic seeding to constant output.

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Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.


T cell development occurs in the thymus throughout life. Recent experimental findings show that the seeding of the thymus by multi-potent stem cells from the bone marrow is periodic rather than continuous, as previously assumed. However it is well known that the output rate of cells from the thymus is relatively constant. A quantitative model is used to verify the current hypotheses regarding T cell development in the steady state mouse thymus. The results show that the thymus could be at a periodic steady state with out-of-phase thymocyte populations. Experiments to examine possible periodic fluctuations in the thymus are proposed and methods for further analysis are outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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