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Am J Anat. 1984 Jul;170(3):301-10.

Early events in T lymphocyte genesis in the fetal thymus.


There is considerable uncertainty about the nature and level of maturation of the stem cells which colonize the thymus. Arguments are presented here which raise doubts about the claims that these cells have undergone substantial maturation along the T-lineage pathway prior to migration to the thymus. Instead, emphasis is placed on the role of thymic stromal cells in T-lymphocyte maturation. The heterogeneous nature of these cells is well established, but progress is described in analyzing the various cell types and their embryological origins. In particular, the expression of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens on thymic stromal cells might be relevant to the understanding of restriction and tolerance. The early phases of thymus lymphocyte differentiation are described; but no clear account of the generation of T-cell subsets from immature cells can, as yet, be offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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