The human thymus microenvironment: heterogeneity detected by monoclonal anti-epithelial cell antibodies

Immunology. 1985 Apr;54(4):745-54.


Monoclonal antibodies were raised against human thymus stromal cells and their specificity for the epithelial component of thymus stroma assessed by double immunofluorescence using anti-keratin antibodies to identify epithelium. Our monoclonal antibodies identify six distinct patterns of epithelial cell antigen expression within the thymus: pan epithelial (antibody IP1); cortex (MR3 and MR6); cortical/medullary junction (IP2); subcapsule and subpopulation of medulla (MR10/MR14); Hassall's corpuscles and adjacent subpopulation of medulla (IP3); Hassall's corpuscles only (MR13/IP4). This heterogeneity of antigen expression suggests that many different epithelial microenvironments exist within the human thymus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Infant
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulins