Culture of thymic epithelial cells from mice and agerelated studies on the growing cells

Myra Small, Liliane Barr‐Nea, Moshe Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Culture of epithelial cells from the thymus of mice was achieved in a medium modified to favor epithelial growth while inhibiting proliferation of fibroblasts. Epithelial cells were identified by the presence of desmosomes in electron microscopic preparations and by antibody to intermediate filaments containing keratin. Morphologically, the cells thus positively identified displayed two main patterns: carpets of large flat cells resembling paving stones which are confluent along the length of their membranes, and networks of cells interconnected by long cytoplasmic processes. These two types of cells were dominant in cultures derived from mice of all ages tested (newborn to nine months) but the relative proportion of each type appeared to change with the age of the donor mice and also with the concentrations of cortisone in the culture medium. Autoradiography revealed that the cultured cells were dividing, and that (in the presence of cortisone) the rate of DNA synthesis was decreased in a portion of the epithelial cells derived from mice in which thymic involution was already underway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-942
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1984


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