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Cytodynamics in the thymus of young adult mice a quantitative study on the loss of thymic blast cells and nonproliferative small thymocytes

, : Cytodynamics in the thymus of young adult mice a quantitative study on the loss of thymic blast cells and nonproliferative small thymocytes. Cell and Tissue Kinetics 9(3): 273-291

Cell proliferation and cell loss in the thymic blast cell population were studied in young adult mice by stathmokinetic methods combined with an analysis of the PLME-curve [percentage of labeled metaphases] after a pulse 3H-TdR [thymidine] and nigrosin-dye exclusion combined with 3H-TdR-autoradiography. About 17% of the blast cells did not progress into mitosis within the period of an average cell cycle. The dye exclusion studies indicated a rate of blast cell death of about 2.5%/h. The 2 methods of assessing blast cell loss (death) supported each other well. Scintillation countings on thymuses removed from 1 to 17 h after 3H-TdR injection showed fairly constant levels of thymic radioactivity. This suggested a very extensive reutilization of 3H-labeled break-down products from dying blast cells. The very sparse labeling of pyknotic thymocytes strongly suggested that thymic blast cells did not become pyknotic. The rate of small thymocyte production and disappearance was studied by pulse and repeated 3H-TdR labeling techniques combined with dye exclusion studies and pyknotic counts. The data from the repeated labeling experiment were analyzed by use of a model based on the assumption of 1st order kinetics of small viable, dead and pyknotic thymocytes. The rate of cell production was estimated to 1.6%/h and the rates of cell loss due to disintegration, i.e., supravital stainability and nuclear pyknosis, were calculated to 0.02%/h and 0.0006%/h, respectively. Cell loss due to disintegration was less than 2% of the total loss of small thymocytes. Pyknotic counts were a useless method of assessing the cell death in the population of thymic blast cells and small thymocytes. On the basis of a model for thymocyte proliferation, production and loss it was suggested that about 45% of the small viable thymocytes re-enter the generative cell pool but about 55% disappear by emigration.


PMID: 1083766

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.1976.tb01275.x

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