Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

T-cell development is under the tight control of thymic microenvironments. Conversely, the integrity of thymic microenvironments depends on the physical presence of developing thymocytes, a phenomenon designated as 'thymic crosstalk'. We now show, using three types of immunodeficient mice, i.e. CD3(epsilon) transgenic mice, RAG(null) mice and RAG(null)-bone-marrow-transplanted CD3(epsilon) transgenic mice, that the control point in lymphoid development where triple negative (CD3(-),CD4(-),CD8(-)) thymocytes progress from CD44(+)CD25(-) towards CD44(-)CD25(+), influences the development of epithelial cells, critically inducing the extra, third dimension in the organization of the epithelial cells in the cortex. This tertiary configuration of the thymic epithelium is a typical feature for the thymus, enabling lymphostromal interaction during T-cell development. Crosstalk signals at this control point also induce the formation of thymic nurse cells. Moreover, our data indicate that establishment of a thymic cortex is a prerequisite for the development of the thymic medulla. Thus, differentiating thymocytes regulate the morphogenesis of thymic microenvironments in a stepwise fashion.


Journal article



Publication Date





1583 - 1591


Animals, Bone Marrow Cells, Bone Marrow Transplantation, CD3 Complex, Homeodomain Proteins, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Phenotype, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Thymus Gland