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CCR7 signals are essential for cortex-medulla migration of developing thymocytes

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Item Type:Article
Title:CCR7 signals are essential for cortex-medulla migration of developing thymocytes
Creators Name:Ueno, T. and Saito, F. and Gray, D.H.D. and Kuse, S. and Hieshima, K. and Nakano, H. and Kakiuchi, T. and Lipp, M. and Boyd, R.L. and Takahama, Y.
Abstract:Upon TCR-mediated positive selection, developing thymocytes relocate within the thymus from the cortex to the medulla for further differentiation and selection. However, it is unknown how this cortex-medulla migration of thymocytes is controlled and how it controls T cell development. Here we show that in mice deficient for CCR7 or its ligands mature single-positive thymocytes are arrested in the cortex and do not accumulate in the medulla. These mutant mice are defective in forming the medullary region of the thymus. Thymic export of T cells in these mice is compromised during the neonatal period but not in adulthood. Thymocytes in these mice show no defects in maturation, survival, and negative selection to ubiquitous antigens. TCR engagement of immature cortical thymocytes elevates the cell surface expression of CCR7. These results indicate that CCR7 signals are essential for the migration of positively selected thymocytes from the cortex to the medulla. CCR7-dependent cortex-medulla migration of thymocytes plays a crucial role in medulla formation and neonatal T cell export but is not essential for maturation, survival, negative selection, and adult export of thymocytes.
Keywords:Thymus, Medulla, Migration, CCR7, Positive and Negative Selection, Animals, Mice
Source:Journal of Experimental Medicine
Publisher:Rockefeller University Press
Page Range:493-505
Date:16 August 2004
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20040643
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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