Laser capture microdissection-based expression profiling identifies PD1-ligand as a target of the nude locus gene product

Eur J Immunol. 2001 Aug;31(8):2497-503. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200108)31:8<2497::aid-immu2497>;2-j.


T cell development requires the interaction of developing thymocytes with thymic epithelial cells. Thymic epithelial cells acquire their unique phenotype under the control of the winged-helix transcription factor Whn, which is lacking in the nude mouse. Whn-dependent genes may therefore be important regulators of lympho-epithelial interactions. To identify Whn target genes we isolated RNA populations of wild-type and nude thymic anlagen from embryonic day 12.5 embryos by laser capture microdissection and compared them by gene expression profiling on microarrays representing 22,000 transcripts. All cDNA with expression differences confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR using RNA from individual anlagen and by in situ hybridization were found to be present in wild-type and absent in nude samples. Three of eight confirmed transcripts were of hematopoietic origin; these transcripts emanate from hematopoietic precursors which have just entered the thymic anlage. Five transcripts were of epithelial origin; one of these corresponds to the recently identified PD-1 ligand (PD-L1), the receptor of which is known to modulate positive selection and to play a role in the control of autoimmunity, and the remaining transcripts code for novel genes. The presented results support our prediction that this systematic approach by gene expression profiling yields regulators of thymopoiesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lasers*
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Thymus Gland / embryology
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Ligands
  • PD1 protein, pig
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Whn protein