Limiting dilution analysis of ontogeny of self- and allo-reactive thymocytes of C57BL/6J mouse

Thymus. 1990 Sep;16(2):89-98.


In the present study, functional development of mouse fetal through neonatal to adult thymocytes was analyzed by limiting dilution assay (LDA) in terms of allo-reactivity and self-reactivity. Self-reactive PTL-p were always much less than those of allo-reactive PTL-p at all ages examined in this study. These results imply that thymocyte proliferation is not predominantly driven by responses to self antigens in the thymus, and that self-reactive thymocytes do not develop prior to allo-reactive thymocytes during thymic ontogeny. It is unlikely that most of such proliferating, murine early fetal thymocytes are self-reactive; allo-reactive cells are unlikely to have been derived from self-reactive cells during T cell development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count / methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H / immunology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / embryology
  • Thymus Gland / growth & development*


  • Autoantigens
  • Isoantigens