Journey through the thymus: stromal guides for T-cell development and selection

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Feb;6(2):127-35. doi: 10.1038/nri1781.


Lympho-stromal interactions in multiple microenvironments within the thymus have a crucial role in the regulation of T-cell development and selection. Recent studies have implicated that chemokines that are produced by thymic stromal cells have a pivotal role in positioning developing T cells within the thymus. In this Review, I discuss the importance of stroma-derived chemokines in guiding the traffic of developing thymocytes, with an emphasis on the processes of cortex-to-medulla migration and T-cell-repertoire selection, including central tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Chemokines / physiology
  • Humans
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Stromal Cells / immunology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism


  • Chemokines