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T Cell Generation in a Lymphopenic Environment Generates Disease when the Thoracic Thymus is Eliminated; Augmentation by IL-7/Anti-IL-7 Complexes Open Access


Other title
T cell, Tolerance, Lymphopenia, Cervical thymus, Autoimmunity
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Smolarchuk, Christa
Supervisor and department
Anderson, Colin (Surgery and Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Examining committee member and department
Agrawal, Babita (Surgery)
Baldwin, Troy (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Elliott, John (Medicine)
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Cervical thymus functionally mimics the thoracic thymus in supporting T cell development and exists in a subset of mice and humans. Importantly, it remains unknown whether the cervical thymus generates an overall repertoire of T cells that are self-tolerant similar to the thoracic thymus. Mice that developed T cells in the absence of the T cell output from the thoracic thymus developed a disease characterized by lethargy, swollen eyes and cachexia. Our data supports that the cervical thymus can function in the absence of the thoracic thymus; however, the T cell repertoire is not fully self-tolerant. Evidence suggests that disease occurs as a result of lymphopenia-driven autoimmunity similar to disease seen after transfer of thymocytes into lymphopenic hosts. Therefore, we used this model to demonstrate that IL-7, an important homeostatic cytokine, can augment disease although the mechanism remains to be elucidated.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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