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Cell Proliferation and Thymocyte Subset Reconstitution in Sublethally Irradiated Mice: Compared Kinetics of Endogenous and Intrathymically Transferred Progenitors

Claude Penit and Sophie Ezine
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 86, No. 14 (Jul. 15, 1989), pp. 5547-5551
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/34518
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cell Proliferation and Thymocyte Subset Reconstitution in Sublethally Irradiated Mice: Compared Kinetics of Endogenous and Intrathymically Transferred Progenitors
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Abstract

After sublethal (6 Gy) whole-body irradiation, the C57BL/Ba (Thy-1.1) murine thymus regenerated in two waves, on days 3-10 and 25-32, separated by a severe relapse. The second phase of depletion-reconstitution reproduced the first one, in a less synchronous manner. The depletion affected all cell subsets, but CD4+ CD8- cells decreased later than immature cells. Cell proliferation, measured by BrdUrd incorporation, started on day 3 after irradiation and concerned CD4- CD8-, CD4- CD8+, and CD4+ CD8+ cells, sequentially. CD4+ CD8- cells never represented a significant percentage of cycling cells. When irradiation was immediately followed by an intrathymic injection of 105 C57BL/Ka (Thy-1.2) bone marrow cells, the relapse in thymus reconstitution was no longer observed. Detected with anti-Thy-1.2 antibodies, donor cells started cycling on day 14 and showed only one wave of proliferation. In these chimeras, recipient thymocytes behave exactly like thymocytes of solely irradiated mice. Intrathymically transferred CD4- CD8- thymocytes (105) showed the same proliferation kinetics as endogenous cells, with a peak in number on day 10 but completely disappeared from the thymus on days 14-21. These data reflect maturational differences between intrathymic and bone marrow precursor cells and suggest different radiosensitivities not linked to proliferative status. The resting state of the thymus immigrants was shown by the absence of Thy-1 acquisition by bone marrow cells continuously labeled for 10 days with BrdUrd in vivo before intrathymic transfer. When such labeled bone marrow cells were injected in the thymus, only the minor BrdUrd- subset gave rise to Thy-1+ cells.

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