Chemokine receptor expression defines heterogeneity in the earliest thymic migrants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • SW Rossi
  • Sonia Parnell
  • WW Agace
  • Y Takahama

Colleges, School and Institutes


Chemokine signaling has been implicated in directing colonization of the fetal thymus by hematopoietic precursors. However, the patterns of expression of the chemokine receptors responsible for directing thymic colonization by the earliest thymic migrants remain unknown. We have identified heterogeneity within the earliest thymus seeding cells based on chemokine receptor expression. By analyzing the first wave of progenitors to colonize the thymus at E12 of gestation, we show that multiple chemokine receptors are expressed by T-lymphoid precursors present within perithymic mesenchyme, while expression of chemokine ligands is limited to CCL21, CCL25 and CXCL12, which are located in distinct epithelial and mesenchymal compartments of the thymic/parathyroid anlagen. Collectively, these results identify multiple populations of T-lymphoid precursors colonizing the fetal thymus and provide evidence for several potential pathways mediating migration of precursors into the embryonic thymus.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2090-6
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • T cell, chemokine receptor, colonization, thymus