Reference : Histoire du thymus : d'un organe vestigial à la programmation de la tolérance immunitaire
Scientific journals : Article
Human health sciences : Neurology
Human health sciences : Immunology & infectious disease
Human health sciences : Endocrinology, metabolism & nutrition
Histoire du thymus : d'un organe vestigial à la programmation de la tolérance immunitaire
[en] History of the thymus : From an 'accident of evolution' to the programming of immunological self-tolerance
Geenen, Vincent mailto [Université de Liège > > Centre d'immunologie >]
MS. Medecine Sciences
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Thymus ; Oxytocin ; Neuropeptides ; Tolérance au soi ; Auto-immunité
[en] This synthesis presents the most important disruptions of conceptions about the thymus since its discovery in Antique Greece. For centuries, the thymus has been considered as a vestigial organ, and its role in T-lymphocyte differentiation has been proposed only in the 1960’s. Most recent studies attribute to the thymus an essential and unique role in the programming of central immunological self-tolerance. The basal mechanism implicated in this function is the transcription in thymic epithelium of genes encoding precursors of self-antigens. Processing of these latters leads to presentation of self-antigens by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) machinery expressed by thymic epithelial and dendritic cells. During fetal life, this presentation drives negative selection of T-cell clones harboring receptors with high affinity for these complexes MHC/self-antigen. After birth, this presentation promotes the generation of regulatory T cells specific for these complexes. A number of studies, as well as the identification of Aire and Fezf2 genes, have shown that a thymus dysfunction plays a crucial role in the development of organ-specific autoimmunity.
Giga-Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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