Summary: HEMATOPOIETIC PROGENITOR CELLS that have migrated to the THYMUS where they differentiate into T-LYMPHOCYTES. Thymocytes are classified into maturational stages based on the expression of CELL SURFACE ANTIGENS.

Top Publications

  1. Solanki A, Yanez D, Ross S, Lau C, Papaioannou E, Li J, et al. Gli3 in fetal thymic epithelial cells promotes thymocyte positive selection and differentiation by repression of Shh. Development. 2018;145: pubmed publisher
    ..of Gli3 from TECs, reduced differentiation to SP4, whereas conditional deletion of Gli3 from thymocytes did not...
  2. Siegmund K, Thuille N, Wachowicz K, Hermann Kleiter N, Baier G. Protein kinase C theta is dispensable for suppression mediated by CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0175463 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, our results suggest that while PKC? is involved in Treg cell differentiation in vivo, it is dispensable for Treg-mediated suppression. ..
  3. He Z, Ma J, Wang R, Zhang J, Huang Z, Wang F, et al. A two-amino-acid substitution in the transcription factor RORγt disrupts its function in TH17 differentiation but not in thymocyte development. Nat Immunol. 2017;18:1128-1138 pubmed publisher
    ..This study will inform the development of treatments that selectively target TH17 cell-mediated autoimmunity but do not affect thymocyte development or induce lymphoma. ..
  4. Ruscher R, Kummer R, Lee Y, Jameson S, Hogquist K. CD8?? intraepithelial lymphocytes arise from two main thymic precursors. Nat Immunol. 2017;18:771-779 pubmed publisher
    ..We defined two precursor populations among TCR?+CD4-CD8- thymocytes by dependence on the kinase TAK1 and rigorous lineage-exclusion criteria...
  5. Xu H, Medina S, Lauer F, Douillet C, Liu K, Styblo M, et al. Genotoxicity induced by monomethylarsonous acid (MMA+3) in mouse thymic developing T cells. Toxicol Lett. 2017;279:60-66 pubmed publisher
    ..The DN cells were much more sensitive to MMA+3 induced genotoxicity and apoptosis than DP cells, probably due to the higher intracellular levels of MMA+3. ..
  6. Lang M, Mori M, Ruer Laventie J, Pieters J. A Coronin 1-Dependent Decision Switch in Juvenile Mice Determines the Population of the Peripheral Naive T Cell Compartment. J Immunol. 2017;199:2421-2431 pubmed publisher
    ..a dedicated mechanism exists that exclusively regulates homeostasis of mature naive T cells without affecting thymocytes and/or recent thymic emigrants remains unknown...
  7. Tanaka T, Nakajima Takagi Y, Aoyama K, Tara S, Oshima M, Saraya A, et al. Internal deletion of BCOR reveals a tumor suppressor function for BCOR in T lymphocyte malignancies. J Exp Med. 2017;214:2901-2913 pubmed publisher
    ..compromised the repopulating capacity of hematopoietic stem cells, BcorΔE4/y thymocytes had augmented proliferative capacity in culture and showed a strong propensity to induce acute T-cell ..
  8. Mildner A, Chapnik E, Varol D, Aychek T, Lampl N, Rivkin N, et al. MicroRNA-142 controls thymocyte proliferation. Eur J Immunol. 2017;47:1142-1152 pubmed publisher
    ..MiR-142 deficiency impairs the expression of cell cycle-promoting genes in mature mouse thymocytes and early progenitors, accompanied with increased levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (Cdkn1b, also ..
  9. Brunk F, Michel C, Holland Letz T, Slynko A, Kopp Schneider A, Kyewski B, et al. Dissecting and modeling the emergent murine TEC compartment during ontogeny. Eur J Immunol. 2017;47:1153-1159 pubmed publisher
    ..These emergent MHCIIhi CD80- cTECs directly generate mature MHCIIhi CD80hi mTECs in vivo and in vitro, thus supporting the asynchronous model of TEC lineage commitment. ..

More Information


  1. Burger M, Leung K, Bennett M, Winoto A. T cell-specific inhibition of multiple apoptotic pathways blocks negative selection and causes autoimmunity. elife. 2014;3: pubmed publisher thought to involve peripheral tolerance and negative selection, involving apoptosis of autoreactive thymocytes. However, evidence supporting an essential role for negative selection is limited...
  2. Sakamachi Y, Morioka S, Mihaly S, Takaesu G, Foley J, Fessler M, et al. TAK1 regulates resident macrophages by protecting lysosomal integrity. Cell Death Dis. 2017;8:e2598 pubmed publisher
    ..Although no overt alteration in thymocytes and blood myeloid populations was observed in Tak1HKO mice, we found that thymic and lung macrophages ..
  3. Etzensperger R, Kadakia T, Tai X, Alag A, Guinter T, Egawa T, et al. Identification of lineage-specifying cytokines that signal all CD8+-cytotoxic-lineage-fate 'decisions' in the thymus. Nat Immunol. 2017;18:1218-1227 pubmed publisher
    ..eliminated Runx3d expression and completely abolished the generation of CD8+ single-positive thymocytes. Thus, this study proves that signaling during positive selection by lineage-specifying cytokines is responsible ..
  4. Murre C. Ensuring an equal playing field for antigen receptor loci variable regions. J Exp Med. 2015;212:2 pubmed publisher
  5. Rodrigues P, Ribeiro A, Perrod C, Landry J, Araújo L, Pereira Castro I, et al. Thymic epithelial cells require p53 to support their long-term function in thymopoiesis in mice. Blood. 2017;130:478-488 pubmed publisher
    ..signs of altered immunological tolerance unfold in mutant mice and in immunodeficient mice that received p53cKO-derived thymocytes. Our findings position p53 as a novel molecular determinant of thymic epithelium function throughout life.
  6. Dong M, Artusa P, Kelly S, Fournier M, Baldwin T, Mandl J, et al. Alterations in the Thymic Selection Threshold Skew the Self-Reactivity of the TCR Repertoire in Neonates. J Immunol. 2017;199:965-973 pubmed publisher
    ..Rather, our data suggest that thymic selection is altered in young mice such that thymocytes bearing TCRs with low affinity for self-peptide are not efficiently selected into the neonatal repertoire, and ..
  7. Yassai M, Demos W, Gorski J. Structural and Mechanistic Implications of Rearrangement Frequencies within Human TCRBV Genes. J Immunol. 2017;199:1142-1152 pubmed publisher
    ..The selection is already established in single-positive CD8 thymocytes. Crystal structures reveal a possible basis for this selection due to the location of this residue in a bend ..
  8. Courtney A, Amacher J, Kadlecek T, Mollenauer M, Au Yeung B, Kuriyan J, et al. A Phosphosite within the SH2 Domain of Lck Regulates Its Activation by CD45. Mol Cell. 2017;67:498-511.e6 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest a negative feedback loop that responds to signaling events that tune active Lck amounts and TCR sensitivity. ..
  9. Loughran S, Comoglio F, Hamey F, Giustacchini A, Errami Y, Earp E, et al. Mbd3/NuRD controls lymphoid cell fate and inhibits tumorigenesis by repressing a B cell transcriptional program. J Exp Med. 2017;214:3085-3104 pubmed publisher
    ..The striking reduction in early thymic T cell progenitors results in compensatory hyperproliferation of immature thymocytes and development of T cell lymphoma...
  10. Zhao J, Osipovich O, Koues O, Majumder K, Oltz E. Activation of Mouse Tcrb: Uncoupling RUNX1 Function from Its Cooperative Binding with ETS1. J Immunol. 2017;199:1131-1141 pubmed publisher
    ..Activation of the TCR ? (Tcrb) locus in committed thymocytes is a critical process for continued development of these cells, and is mediated by an enhancer, E?, which ..
  11. Lee T, Sprouse M, Banerjee P, Bettini M, Bettini M. Ectopic Expression of Self-Antigen Drives Regulatory T Cell Development and Not Deletion of Autoimmune T Cells. J Immunol. 2017;199:2270-2278 pubmed publisher
    ..InsB9-23 R22E) efficiently deletes insulin-specific T cells and prevents escape of high-affinity thymocytes. Collectively, these results suggest that Ag dose and peptide-MHC complex stability can lead to multiple fates ..
  12. Kasheta M, Painter C, Moore F, Lobbardi R, Bryll A, Freiman E, et al. Identification and characterization of T reg-like cells in zebrafish. J Exp Med. 2017;214:3519-3530 pubmed publisher
    ..This study identifies T reg-like cells in zebrafish, providing both a model to study the normal functions of these cells in vivo and mutants to explore the consequences of their loss. ..
  13. Das A, Rouault Pierre K, Kamdar S, Gomez Tourino I, Wood K, Donaldson I, et al. Adaptive from Innate: Human IFN-γ+CD4+ T Cells Can Arise Directly from CXCL8-Producing Recent Thymic Emigrants in Babies and Adults. J Immunol. 2017;199:1696-1705 pubmed publisher
  14. Dorfman D, Morgan E, Pelton A, Unitt C. T-cell transcription factor GATA-3 is an immunophenotypic marker of acute leukemias with T-cell differentiation. Hum Pathol. 2017;65:166-174 pubmed publisher
    ..transcription factor that controls Th1/Th2 T-cell fate, is not expressed to any significant extent in immature thymocytes or in cases of T-lymphoblastic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia/myeloid sarcoma, but is expressed in most ..
  15. Liberatore R, Mastrocola E, Powell C, Bieniasz P. Tetherin Inhibits Cell-Free Virus Dissemination and Retards Murine Leukemia Virus Pathogenesis. J Virol. 2017;91: pubmed publisher
    ..of hTetherin in hematopoietic cells had little or no effect on the number of MoMLV-infected splenocytes and thymocytes. However, hTetherin expression significantly reduced cell-free plasma viremia and also delayed MoMLV-induced ..
  16. Ohmura S, Mizuno S, Oishi H, Ku C, Hermann M, Hosoya T, et al. Lineage-affiliated transcription factors bind the Gata3 Tce1 enhancer to mediate lineage-specific programs. J Clin Invest. 2016;126:865-78 pubmed publisher
    ..Together, our data show that Tce1 is both necessary and sufficient for critical aspects of Gata3 T cell-specific transcriptional activity. ..
  17. Seddon B. Thymic IL-7 signaling goes beyond survival. Nat Immunol. 2015;16:337-8 pubmed publisher
  18. Farias de Oliveira D, Cotta de Almeida V, Villa Verde D, Riederer I, Meis J, Savino W. Fibronectin modulates thymocyte-thymic epithelial cell interactions following Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2013;108:825-31 pubmed publisher
    Developing thymocytes interact with thymic epithelial cells (TECs) through cell-cell interactions, TEC-derived secretory moieties and extracellular matrix (ECM)-mediated interactions...
  19. White A, Baik S, Parnell S, Holland A, Brombacher F, Jenkinson W, et al. A type 2 cytokine axis for thymus emigration. J Exp Med. 2017;214:2205-2216 pubmed publisher
    ..Absence of IL-4R? limits thymocyte emigration, leading to an intrathymic accumulation of mature thymocytes within medullary perivascular spaces and reduced numbers of recent thymic emigrants...
  20. Ghosh M, Muller H, Walker A. Lactation-Based Maternal Educational Immunity Crosses MHC Class I Barriers and Can Impart Th1 Immunity to Th2-Biased Recipients. J Immunol. 2017;199:1729-1736 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that lactational transfer of immunity can cross MHC class I barriers and that Th1 immunity can be imparted to Th2-biased offspring; in some instances, it can be greater than that achieved by direct immunization. ..
  21. Genolet R, Stevenson B, Farinelli L, Osterås M, Luescher I. Highly diverse TCR? chain repertoire of pre-immune CD8? T cells reveals new insights in gene recombination. EMBO J. 2012;31:4247-8 pubmed publisher
  22. Kozai M, Kubo Y, Katakai T, Kondo H, Kiyonari H, Schaeuble K, et al. Essential role of CCL21 in establishment of central self-tolerance in T cells. J Exp Med. 2017;214:1925-1935 pubmed publisher
    ..receptor CCR7 directs T cell relocation into and within lymphoid organs, including the migration of developing thymocytes into the thymic medulla...
  23. Adoro S, Park K, Bettigole S, Lis R, Shin H, Seo H, et al. Post-translational control of T cell development by the ESCRT protein CHMP5. Nat Immunol. 2017;18:780-790 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results thus identify CHMP5 as an essential component of the post-translational machinery required for T cell development. ..
  24. Schuldt N, Auger J, Spanier J, Martinov T, Breed E, Fife B, et al. Cutting Edge: Dual TCR? Expression Poses an Autoimmune Hazard by Limiting Regulatory T Cell Generation. J Immunol. 2017;199:33-38 pubmed publisher
    ..These data support a novel hypothesis by which dual TCR expression can promote autoimmunity by limiting agonist selection of self-reactive thymocytes into the Treg cell lineage.
  25. Miyazaki M, Miyazaki K, Chen K, Jin Y, Turner J, Moore A, et al. The E-Id Protein Axis Specifies Adaptive Lymphoid Cell Identity and Suppresses Thymic Innate Lymphoid Cell Development. Immunity. 2017;46:818-834.e4 pubmed publisher
    ..On the basis of these and previous observations, we propose that the E-Id protein axis specifies innate and adaptive lymphoid cell fate. ..
  26. Kuchler L, Sha L, Giegerich A, Knape T, Angioni C, Ferreirós N, et al. Elevated intrathymic sphingosine-1-phosphate promotes thymus involution during sepsis. Mol Immunol. 2017;90:255-263 pubmed publisher
    Sepsis mouse models revealed thymus atrophy, characterised by decreased thymus weight and loss of thymocytes due to apoptosis...
  27. Tai X. MCL-1 keeps a charming home for thymocytes. Blood. 2017;130:2448-2450 pubmed publisher
  28. Ki S, Thyagarajan H, Hu Z, Lancaster J, Ehrlich L. EBI2 contributes to the induction of thymic central tolerance in mice by promoting rapid motility of medullary thymocytes. Eur J Immunol. 2017;47:1906-1917 pubmed publisher
    Maturing thymocytes enter the thymic medulla, where they encounter numerous self-antigens presented by antigen presenting cells (APCs)...