PMID: 78962Jul 1, 1978Paper

In vitro maturation of immature thymocytes into immunocompetent T cells in the absence of direct thymic influence

The Journal of Experimental Medicine
C IrléP Vassalli


Peanut lectin (PNL) binds to a majority of mouse thymocytes (Thc) in suspension. By using cell affinity chromatography on a column of anti-PNL antibody, Thc populations at least 96 percent pure in PNL + or - cells, as judged by immunofluorescence, were obtained. PNL(+) cells are rich in Thy 1 and poor in H(2) antigens, cortisone sensitive, unresponsive to phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and immunologically incompetent, as judged by mixed lymphocyte reaction, popliteal lymph node graft-versus-host assay, and by testing helper activity in a primary in vitro antibody response to sheep erythrocytes; the converse is true of PNL(-) cells. Thus, PNL(+) and (-) cells appear to correspond to cortical and medullary Thc, respectively, as previously suggested. In culture, PNL(+) Thc show poor viability and a weak proliferative response to concanavalin A (Con A), except when supernate (SUP) of 24 h Con A stimulated lymph node lymphocyte cultures, or irradiated lymph node cells, are added, in which cases a strong proliferative response to the mitogen is observed. A variety of control experiments showed that the proliferating cells did not result from preferential stimulation of a few contaminating PNL(-) Thc present in the PNL(+) Thc cultures. The...Continue Reading


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