T-lymphocyte development takes place mainly in the thymus, where stromal cells of epithelial and haemopoietic origin are involved in inductive and selective mechanisms, which enable specific lymphocyte populations to migrate to the periphery and establish a network of immune responses. Experiments with intact animals have clarified the precursor-product relationships between thymocyte subpopulations, but the molecular mechanisms of cell interactions in the thymus are difficult to study in vivo. In an attempt to expand thymic cell populations in vivo and maintain them in vitro for such studies, we directed high levels of expression of the murine c-myc proto-oncogene in transgenic mice by inserting it into the mouse Thy-1 transcriptional unit. Such mice develop thymic tumours which contain proliferating thymocytes and, interestingly, expanded populations of epithelial cells. Both cell types can be maintained in vitro.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Nature: international weekly journal of science
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Spanopoulou, E, Early, A, Elliott, J, Crispe, N, Ritter, M, Watt, S, … Ladyman, H. (1989). Complex lymphoid and epithelial thymic tumours in Thy1-myc transgenic mice. Nature: international weekly journal of science, 342, 185–189. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/2446