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Insights into Thymus Development and Viral Thymic Infections

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University “Magna Graecia” of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
Institute for Endocrinology and Oncology, National Research Council, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnologies, University of Napoli “Federico II”, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Department of Public Health, University of Napoli “Federico II”, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, University of Salerno, 84081 Salerno, Italy
Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Graecia” of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 836;
Received: 14 August 2019 / Revised: 3 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue T Cell-Mediated Antiviral Immunity)
T-cell development in the thymus is a complex and highly regulated process, involving a wide variety of cells and molecules which orchestrate thymocyte maturation into either CD4+ or CD8+ single-positive (SP) T cells. Here, we briefly review the process regulating T-cell differentiation, which includes the latest advances in this field. In particular, we highlight how, starting from a pool of hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow, the sequential action of transcriptional factors and cytokines dictates the proliferation, restriction of lineage potential, T-cell antigen receptors (TCR) gene rearrangements, and selection events on the T-cell progenitors, ultimately leading to the generation of mature T cells. Moreover, this review discusses paradigmatic examples of viral infections affecting the thymus that, by inducing functional changes within this lymphoid gland, consequently influence the behavior of peripheral mature T-lymphocytes. View Full-Text
Keywords: thymus; viral infections; T-cell development thymus; viral infections; T-cell development
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Albano, F.; Vecchio, E.; Renna, M.; Iaccino, E.; Mimmi, S.; Caiazza, C.; Arcucci, A.; Avagliano, A.; Pagliara, V.; Donato, G.; Palmieri, C.; Mallardo, M.; Quinto, I.; Fiume, G. Insights into Thymus Development and Viral Thymic Infections. Viruses 2019, 11, 836.

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