Thymic cortical epithelial cells lack full capacity for antigen presentation

Academic Article


  • SEVERAL recent studies have suggested that interactions between thymocytes and thymic stromal cells are essential for the development and elimination of antigen-reactive T lymphocytes1-4. It is important, therefore, to characterize the stromal cells involved in presentation of antigen in the thymus. In a previous report, we demonstrated, using T-cell hybridomas, that three distinct types of antigen presenting cells in the thymus (cortical epithelial cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells) constitutively expressed self haemoglobin/la complexes5. Here we report that one of these cell types, the cortical epithelial cell, does not induce stimulation of T-lymphocyte clones even though the antigen/la complex required for antigen-specific recognition is present. This lack of response occurs with both TH1 and TH2 clones. Responsiveness of the TH2 clone can be restored by adding the murine lymphokine interleukin-1β to the culture system. © 1989 Nature Publishing Group.
  • Published In

  • Nature  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lorenz RG; Allen PM
  • Start Page

  • 557
  • End Page

  • 559
  • Volume

  • 340
  • Issue

  • 6234