A short primer on early molecular and cellular events in thymus organogenesis and replacement.
Barthlott T., Keller MP., Krenger W., Holländer GA.
Haematopoietic precursors have to undergo a complex series of maturational steps in the thymus before they exit into the periphery as functional T lymphocytes. Thymic stroma cells, the majority being of epithelial origin, provide the functional partners for the maturational progression along this differentiation pathway. Here we review some of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that account for thymus organogenesis and discuss a strategy to use thymic epithelial precursor cells for the regeneration of the thymic microenvironment.