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Dynamics of Thymocyte-Stromal Cell Interactions Visualized by Two-Photon Microscopy

Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1876-1880
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070945

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Abstract

Thymocytes are selected to mature according to their ability to interact with self major histocompatibility complex (MHC)–peptide complexes displayed on the thymic stroma. Using two-photon microscopy, we performed real-time analysis of the cellular contacts made by developing thymocytes undergoing positive selection in a three-dimensional thymic organ culture. A large fraction of thymocytes within these cultures were highly motile. MHC recognition was found to increase the duration of thymocyte–stromal cell interactions and occurred as both long-lived cellular associations displaying stable cell-cell contacts and as shorter, highly dynamic contacts. Our results identify the diversity and dynamics of thymocyte interactions during positive selection.

  • * This author made independent, essential contributions to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: erobey{at}uclink4.berkeley.edu

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