Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9603461
Eur. J. Immunol. 1998 May;28(5):1563-9
The generation of T cell precursors in the liver of murine embryos was studied. The total number of T cell precursors in the liver was measured in thymic organ cultures by a limiting dilution assay. Sixty T cell precursors were detected in the liver at day 11 of gestation. By day 12 the number of precursors showed a 20-fold increase, half of which could be explained by in situ proliferation as ascertained by a fetal liver organ culture assay. By day 13 a further 2-3-fold increase was observed. Whereas the number of total liver cells continued to increase, that of T cell precursors declined in the following days, suggesting a massive exit of these cells after day 13. The capacity to generate a TCRB repertoire in the cells was evaluated by a PCR assay. T cell precursors in day 11 fetal liver developed a TCRB repertoire at day 8 of culture. The cells from days 12-15 developed an identically diverse repertoire by day 6, suggesting that day 11 precursors are more immature than those of later days. A mechanism for yielding a single wave of T cell precursors in the fetal liver is discussed with a proposed model.