Colonization of the thymus by T cell progenitors: Models for cell-cell interactions

Ramit Mehr, Lee Segel, Ayala Sharp, Amiela Globerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The early events of T-cell generation, i.e. seeding of bone marrow-derived progenitor cells onto the thymic stroma, involve a small fraction up to 1% of thymus cells and are not presently observable. However, these events are crucial in determining the outcome of thymic colonization. In previous-studies we utilized an experimental in vitro model of thymic reconstitution by bone marrow cells to compare normal thymocyte development with the development in conditions of T-cell deficiency, and, in particular, in aging. These studies showed that progenitor cells from old donor bone marrow are deficient in their ability to colonize the thymus, in spite of their ability to divide earlier upon seeding. In this study we apply mathematical and computer modelling in order to analyse early T-cell development and the causes for the developmental disadvantage of old donor bone marrow cells. The results indicate that the competition for seeding niches in the thymic stroma determines the outcome of colonization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 7 Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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