Fetal thymic organ cultures

Curr Opin Immunol. 1994 Apr;6(2):293-7. doi: 10.1016/0952-7915(94)90104-x.


Thymic organ cultures are currently the only system capable of supporting a full programme of T-cell development in vitro. Unmanipulated thymus lobes are useful for studying some aspects of T-cell development but are limited for studies on interactions between thymocytes and stromal cells by their cellular heterogeneity. However, techniques have now been developed for the association of defined stromal and lymphoid populations in organ culture where optimal conditions for the interaction are maintained. This approach is now being applied to study the role of individual stromal cell types in T-cell development and selection of the T cell receptor repertoire.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Organ Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / embryology