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The development and function of thymic microenvironments

Shakib, Saba (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The thymus is organised into distinct microenvironments, and trafficking through these regions enables thymocytes to receive essential signals for the generation of a diverse and self-tolerant T-cell repertoire. Thymic epithelial cells (TEC) represent a key stromal cell type during defined stages in T cell development, yet the mechanisms regulating their development are only partly understood. An ontogenetic approach was employed to study stages of cortical thymic epithelial cell (cTEC) development. This study identifies a previously unreported population of cTEC progenitors expressing CD205 and 5T and has defined distinct checkpoints in the development of the cTEC lineage. Furthermore, the importance of thymic crosstalk during specific stages of cTEC development and also the requirement for RANK-RANKL signalling for the development of various medullary thymic epithelial cell (mTEC) subsets has also been defined. Additionally, the importance of chemokine-mediated signalling for the establishment and compartmentalisation of the thymus has been highlighted by employing laser capture microdissection and studying thymus microenvironments in mice deficient for particular chemokine related signalling pathways. Overall this study has provided novel insight into the development of the thymic cortex and will help to understand how these cells become specialised in their ability to support positive selection of developing T cells.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Anderson, Graham and Jenkinson, Eric
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:Institute of Biomedical Research, Department of Anatomy
Subjects:R Medicine (General)
QM Human anatomy
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:477
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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