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A regulatory role for TGF-β signaling in the establishment and function of the thymic medulla


Hauri-Hohl, Mathias; Zuklys, Saulius; Holländer, Georg A; Ziegler, Steven F (2014). A regulatory role for TGF-β signaling in the establishment and function of the thymic medulla. Nature Immunology, 15(6):554-561.

Abstract

Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) are critical in establishing and maintaining the appropriate microenvironment for negative selection and maturation of immunocompetent T cells with a self-tolerant T cell antigen receptor repertoire. Cues that direct proliferation and maturation of mTECs are provided by members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily expressed on developing thymocytes. Here we demonstrate a negative role of the morphogen TGF-β in tempering these signals under physiological conditions, limiting both growth and function of the thymic medulla. Eliminating TGF-β signaling specifically in TECs or by pharmacological means increased the size of the mTEC compartment, enhanced negative selection and functional maturation of medullary thymocytes as well as the production of regulatory T cells, thus reducing the autoreactive potential of peripheral T cells.

Abstract

Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) are critical in establishing and maintaining the appropriate microenvironment for negative selection and maturation of immunocompetent T cells with a self-tolerant T cell antigen receptor repertoire. Cues that direct proliferation and maturation of mTECs are provided by members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily expressed on developing thymocytes. Here we demonstrate a negative role of the morphogen TGF-β in tempering these signals under physiological conditions, limiting both growth and function of the thymic medulla. Eliminating TGF-β signaling specifically in TECs or by pharmacological means increased the size of the mTEC compartment, enhanced negative selection and functional maturation of medullary thymocytes as well as the production of regulatory T cells, thus reducing the autoreactive potential of peripheral T cells.

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21 citations in Web of Science®
20 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:June 2014
Deposited On:12 Feb 2015 14:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:57
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1529-2908
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.2869
PubMed ID:24728352

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