The mammalian immune system contains many features in terms of different cell subsets with their individual function. All these different cell subsets work together as a system to prevent and combat infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. One major subset of the immune system, the hematopoietic system, can be subdivided in many branches. The hematopoietic system can be regarded as a hierarchical system in terms of stem cells and differentiated mature cells, once mature cells become less in number, stem cells will be activated and start to divide to replenish the mature cells. The mature pool of hematopoietic cells can roughly be divided in macrophages, dendritic cells, granulocytes, basophils, mast cells, megakaryocytes, erythrocytes, neutrophils, eosinophil, natural killer cells and B and T cells. All mature hematopoietic cells develop in the bone marrow, except for T cells. T cells use a specialized epithelial organ, the thymus, where they can differentiate from early thymic progenitors (ETPs) towards mature functional T cells. In this thesis we will summarize literature of thymus biology, underline the problems that occur once the thymic function becomes impaired and explore strategies that have been undertaken to repair or rejuvenate the thymic function.

J.J. Cornelissen (Jan) , B. Löwenberg (Bob)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam
hdl.handle.net/1765/37930
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vroegindeweij, E.M. (2012, November 14). Characterization of murine and human thymic epithelial progenitor cells. Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/37930