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Evidence for a Functional Second Thymus in Mice

By G. Terszowski, S. Müller, C. Bleul, C. Blum, R. Schirmbeck, J. Reimann, L. Du Pasquier, T. Amagai, T. Boehm and H. Rodewald


The thymus organ supports the development of T cells and is located in the thorax. Here, we report the existence of a second thymus in the mouse neck, which develops after birth and grows to the size of a small lymph node. The cervical thymus had a typical medulla-cortex structure, was found to support T cell development, and could correct T cell deficiency in athymic nude mice upon transplantation. The identification of a regular second thymus in the mouse may provide evolutionary links to thymus organogenesis in other vertebrates and suggests a need to reconsider the effect of thoracic thymectomy on de novo T cell production

Year: 2006
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Provided by: MPG.PuRe
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