Functional characterization of human thymocyte subpopulations separated by density gradient centrifugation

H. M. Lederman, J. W.W. Lee, A. Cohen, E. W. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A bovine serum albumin gradient was used to separate two populations of human thymocytes - a minority population (8%) of large thymocytes (LT) and a majority population (92%) of small thymocytes (ST). Fifty per cent of LT cells were in the S, G2 or M phases of the cell cycle compared to 5% of ST cells and 15% of unfractionated thymocytes. LT cells proliferated in response to T cell mitogens and included all of the T colony precursor cells (TCPC). In contrast, ST cells proliferated with mitogens only in the presence of added T cell growth factors and contained none of the thymocyte TCPC. ST cells neither helped nor suppressed the function of LT cells in any assay. This separation technique has provided a rapid method for isolating functionally distinct thymic lymphocyte subpopulation and permitted a further definition of the TCPC in the human thymus. Furthermore it should prove useful in studies of thymocytes at different stages of the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-396
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume55
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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