Document Detail

The effects of pregnancy on the mouse thymic epithelium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8111839     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Changes in the murine thymus during pregnancy were studied using immunocytochemistry with monoclonal antibodies against thymic epithelial, neuroendocrine, and thymulin-producing cells, fibroblasts, blood vessels and connective tissue components. Extensive alterations occur in mid-pregnancy. The medulla was greatly enlarged in the involuted thymus, and there were greater numbers of epithelial cells. These epithelial cells had an altered distribution forming large structures surrounding spherical masses of mononuclear cells, lacked epithelial cells and often contained a central blood vessel with fibroblasts and connective tissue. We have called these structures 'medullary epithelial rings' (MERs). To our knowledge these structures have not been described before. Late in pregnancy the loss of the central mononuclear cells leaves collapsed structures in a smaller medulla that nevertheless retains many epithelial cells. In virgins and early-pregnancy, there are cortical channels free of epithelial cells that are very infrequent later in pregnancy. This may reflect the loss of steroid-sensitive thymocytes from the cortex. The influence of sex-steroids, neurological impulses and immune activity in causing the changes are discussed, as are the possible consequences in pregnancy of a reduced, thymocyte-depleted cortex and an enlarged medulla that shows great complexity and activity.
A G Clarke; A L Gil; M D Kendall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cell and tissue research     Volume:  275     ISSN:  0302-766X     ISO Abbreviation:  Cell Tissue Res.     Publication Date:  1994 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-03-28     Completed Date:  1994-03-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0417625     Medline TA:  Cell Tissue Res     Country:  GERMANY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  309-18     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Antibodies, Monoclonal
Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / metabolism
Epithelium / anatomy & histology,  immunology,  metabolism
Pregnancy, Animal / immunology*
Thymic Factor, Circulating / metabolism
Thymus Gland / anatomy & histology*,  immunology*,  metabolism
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antibodies, Monoclonal; 0/Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte; 78922-62-0/Thymic Factor, Circulating

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