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Rat thymocytes differentiation in adult thymus organ culture

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Author(s): Rakin Ana | Kuštrimović Nataša | Kosec D. | Živković Irena | Janković I. | Mićić Mileva

Journal: Acta Veterinaria
ISSN 0567-8315

Volume: 61;
Issue: 5-6;
Start page: 461;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: ATOC | rat | T cell development | thymus | thymus emigrants

ABSTRACT
To investigate the differences between thymocytes development in vivo and in vitro, thymus lobe fragments from 12-weeks old male Albino Oxford rats were cultivated over a 7-days period. In the controls and cultivated thymic lobes fragments were evaluated and the viability, apoptosis and cell cycle of thymocytes, as well as the histological characteristics of thymic tissue. Additionally, we analyzed the expression of CD4, CD8 and TCRαβ on thymocytes by flow cytometry. The obtained results showed that thymus cellularity decreased during cultivated time due to expanded apoptosis, decreased proliferation and the absence of progenitors reseeding thymus. The relative proportion of thymocyte subsets in the first 24 hours of culture remained similar as in the control. However, cultivation for 3 and 7 days modulated the relative proportions between thymoctye subsets. The percentage of DP TCRαβlow increased, DP TCRαβhi subset remained unchanged, both SP TCRαβhi subsets decreased while the same mature SP phenotype dominated in culture media. These results demonstrate that cultivated thymic fragments retain the capacity for T cell development, although cultivation modulates this process.
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