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Developmental Immunology
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 35-44

Rat Stem-Cell Factor Induces Splenocytes Capable Of Regenerating The Thymus

1Department of Experimental Hematology, Amgen Inc., Amgen Center, 1840 Dehavilland Dr., Thousand Oaks 91320, California, USA
2Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, Amgen Inc., Amgen Center, 1840 Dehavilland Dr., Thousand Oaks 91320, California, USA
3University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01605, Massachusetts, USA

Received 22 May 1992; Accepted 31 August 1992

Copyright © 1992 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cytokine regulation of prethymic T-lymphoid progenitor-cell proliferation and/or differentiation has not been well-defined, although much is known of cytokine regulation of hemopoietic stem- and progenitor-cell development. Here we use a recently identified hemopoietic growth factor, stem-cell factor (SCF) (a form of the c-kit ligand), and a transplant model of thymocyte regeneration to assess the effect of SCF on the in vivo generation of prethymic, thymocyte progenitor-cell activity. We show that recombinant rat SCF (rrSCF164 administered to weanling rats selectively induces an increase in thymocyte progenitor activity in the spleens of treated rats as compared to rats treated with vehicle, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated rat albumin, or recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF). These data demonstrate that administration of SCF in vivo affects extrathymic-origin thymocyte regenerating cells and may influence, directly or indirectly, early prethymic stages of T-cell lymphopoiesis in addition to its known effect on early stages of myelopoiesis and erythropoiesis.