Intercellular Protein Transfer from Thymocytes to Thymic Epithelial Cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Promiscuous expression of tissue restricted antigens (TRAs) in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) is crucial for negative selection of self-reactive T cells to establish central tolerance. Intercellular transfer of self-peptide-MHC complexes from mTECs to thymic dendritic cells (DCs) allows DCs to acquire TRAs, which in turn contributes to negative selection and regulatory T cell generation. However, mTECs are unlikely to express all TRAs, such as immunoglobulins generated only in B cells after somatic recombination, hyper-mutation, or class-switches. We report here that both mTECs and cortical TECs can efficiently acquire not only cell surface but also intracellular proteins from thymocytes. This reveals a previously unappreciated intercellular sharing of molecules from thymocytes to TECs, which may broaden the TRA inventory in mTECs for establishing a full spectrum of central tolerance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, H-X; Qiu, Y-R; Zhong, X-P

Published Date

  • 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 3

Start / End Page

  • e0152641 -

PubMed ID

  • 27022746

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4811443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0152641


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States