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Cell Immunol. 1986 Sep;101(2):320-7.

Progenitor cells in the thymus: most thymus-homing progenitor cells in the adult mouse thymus bear Pgp-1 glycoprotein but not interleukin-2 receptor on their cell surface.


Pgp-1-positive and interleukin-2-receptor (IL-2R)-positive cells are both minor (less than 5%) subpopulations within the adult thymus. A thymocyte population enriched for these two cell types, obtained by killing the bulk of thymocytes with anti-Thy-1 antibody and complement, contains thymus-homing progenitor cells which can transiently repopulate the thymus of irradiated recipients. Using two-color immunofluorescence, we demonstrate that the Pgp-1+ and IL-2R+ cells present in this enriched population represent largely nonoverlapping subsets, although some cells do express both markers. We also show by depletion of these two cell types that the bulk of the thymus-homing progenitors present in this enriched population are found in the Pgp-1+ population, and not in the IL-2R+ population. We discuss the relationship between the thymus-homing progenitors in this depleted thymus subpopulation and the thymus-homing progenitors present in the thymus as a whole.

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