Growth and characterization of T cell colonies from human thymus

H. M. Lederman, J. W.W. Lee, G. B. Price, E. W. Gelfand

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4 Scopus citations


A semisolid microculture system was used to study T cell colonies grown from human thymocytes. Colony growth was absolutely dependent upon media conditions by peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) in the presence of phytohemagglutinin. Plating efficiency was further enhanced by the addition of a non-T, adherent, radiation-resistant (7500 rad) PBL subpopulation, but was not enhanced by cutlure supernatants of these cells. The T colony precursor cell in the thymus occurred with a frequency of 8.0 x 10-3 and had a surface receptor for the OKT3 monoclonal antibody. Thymocyte colony cells were functionally distinct from PBL and the major thymocyte population. The colony cells proliferated in response to T cell mitogens, but only in the presence of exogenous growth factors. The cells stimulated normal PBL in mixed leukocyte culture (MLC), but did not respond to alloantigens in MLC or in assays of spontaneous cytotoxicity. This culture system should prove helpful in the study of human thymocyte differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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