Leukocyte and lymphoid organ ontogeny
Ferreirinha, Pedro Universidade do Porto
Ribeiro, Camila Universidade do Porto
Landry, Jonathan J. M. European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Meireles, Catarina Universidade do Porto
White, Andrea J. University of Birmingham
Araújo, Leonor Universidade do Porto
Benes, Vladimir European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Anderson, Graham University of Birmingham
Alves, Nuno L. Universidade do Porto
medullary thymic epithelial cell
Autoimmune regulator+ (Aire) medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) play a critical role in tolerance induction. Several studies demonstrated that Aire+mTECs differentiate further into Post-Aire cells. Yet, the identification of terminal stages of mTEC maturation depends on unique fate-mapping mouse models. Herein, we resolve this limitation by segmenting the mTEChi(MHCIIhiCD80hi) compartment into mTECA/hi (CD24−Sca1−), mTECB/hi (CD24+Sca1−), and mTECC/hi (CD24+Sca1+). While mTECA/hi included mostly Aire-expressing cells, mTECB/hi contained Aire+ and Aire− cells and mTECC/hi were mainly composed of cells lacking Aire. The differential expression pattern of Aire led us to investigate the precursor-product relationship between these subsets. Strikingly, transcriptomic analysis of mTECA/hi, mTECB/hi, and mTECC/hi sequentially mirrored the specific genetic program of Early-, Late- and Post-Aire mTECs. Corroborating their Post-Aire nature, mTECC/hi downregulated the expression of tissue-restricted antigens, acquired traits of differentiated keratinocytes, and were absent in Aire-deficient mice. Collectively, our findings reveal a new and simple blueprint to survey late stages of mTEC differentiation.
European Journal of Immunology
Wiley|European Federation of Immunological Societies
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