A murine thymic stromal cell line which may support the differentiation of CD4-8- thymocytes into CD4+8- alpha beta T cell receptor positive T cells

Cell Immunol. 1992 Jul;142(2):385-97. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(92)90299-5.


A fibroblastoid cell line TSt-4 was established from fetal thymus tissue of C57BL/6 mice. When fetal thymus (FT) cells or CD4-8- (DN) cells of adult thymuses were cultured on the monolayer of TSt-4, a considerable proportion of lymphocytes expressed CD4 or both CD4 and CD8 within 1 day, and the CD4+CD8- cells were maintained further while the CD4+8+ cells disappeared by Day 5. A large proportion of cells generated from DN cells but not FT cells was shown to express CD3 and T cell receptor alpha beta. Addition of recombinant interleukin (IL)-7 into the cultures resulted in a marked increase of cell recovery without virtual change in differentiation process of alpha beta lineage. The present work strongly suggests that thymic fibroblasts play an important role in T cell differentiation and IL-7 contributes to supporting proliferation of differentiated cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • CD8 Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Interleukin-7 / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Interleukin-7
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Recombinant Proteins