Architectural changes in the thymus of aging mice

Aw, Danielle, Silva, Alberto B., Maddick, Mandy, von Zglinicki, Thomas and Palmer, Donald B. (2008) Architectural changes in the thymus of aging mice. Aging Cell, 7 2: 158-167. doi:10.1111/j.1474-9726.2007.00365.x

Author Aw, Danielle
Silva, Alberto B.
Maddick, Mandy
von Zglinicki, Thomas
Palmer, Donald B.
Title Architectural changes in the thymus of aging mice
Journal name Aging Cell   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1474-9718
Publication date 2008-04
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2007.00365.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 2
Start page 158
End page 167
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Age-associated thymic involution is one of the most dramatic and ubiquitous changes in the immune system, although the precise mechanisms involved still remain obscured. Several hypotheses have been proposed incorporating extrinsic and intrinsic factors, however, changes in the thymic microenvironment itself is one of the least investigated. We therefore decided to undertake a detailed histological examination of the aging thymus in order to elucidate possible mechanisms of thymic atrophy. This investigation provides insight into the changes within the murine thymus with age, demonstrating a new approach to quantify protein expressional differences while preserving the thymic architecture. There is a decline in expression of thymic epithelial cell-specific makers and an increase in fibroblast content in the aging mouse thymus. This is concurrent with a disorganization of the thymic compartments, a morphological transformation within the epithelial cells and alterations of their archetypal staining patterns. Furthermore, this is linked to a rise in apoptotic cells and the novel finding of increased senescence in the thymus of older mice that appears to be colocalized in the epithelial compartment. These changes within the thymic epithelial cells may be in part accountable for thymic atrophy and responsible for the decline in T-cell output.
Keyword Senescence
Thymic epithelial cells
Thymic involution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 20 DEC 2007

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 41 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 42 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 20 Sep 2011, 15:35:49 EST by Alberto Boucas Da Silva on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience