Identifying the spatial relationships of thymic stromal and thymocyte subsets by immunofluorescence analysis

Virginia Bain, Ellen R. Richie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immunofluorescence analysis of thymic tissue sections is an indispensable technique for visualizing spatial relationships among thymocyte and stromal cell subsets. The thymus is organized into distinct microenvironmental zones in which particular thymic epithelial cell (TEC) subsets support specific stages of thymocyte maturation. Conversely, thymocytes and lymphoid tissue inducer cells support functional maturation of TECs. The composition and organization of TECs change during ontogeny to generate a maximally functional organ in the young adult. Deterioration of thymic architecture and stromal organization occurs with age as the thymus undergoes involution. Such changes can be monitored by immunofluorescent staining of thymic sections obtained at different ages throughout the life-span. Here we describe methods to generate frozen or paraffin-embedded thymic tissue sections for multicolor immunofluorescence staining using antibodies to surface and/or cytoplasmic antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Volume1323
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Immunofluorescence
  • Thymic epithelial cells
  • Thymic microenvironment
  • Thymocytes
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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