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Developmental Immunology
Volume 6 (1998), Issue 3-4, Pages 157-170

An Adult Thymic Stromal-Cell Suspension Model for in Vitro Positive Selection

1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Monash Medical School, Commercial Rd., Prahran 3181, Australia
2Department of Immunology, Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Freiburg, Germany
3Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Epalinges 1066, Switzerland

Received 20 January 1997; Accepted 19 August 1997

Copyright © 1998 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.


Presented here is a cell-suspension model for positive selection using thymocytes from αβ-TCR (H-2Db-restricted) transgenic mice specific to the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) on a nonselecting MHC background (H-2d or TAP-1 –/–), cocultured with freshly isolated adult thymus stromal cells of the selecting MHC type. The thymic stromal cells alone induced positive selection of functional CD4-CD8+ cells whose kinetics and efficiency were enhanced by nominal peptide. Fibroblasts expressing the selecting MHC alone did not induce positive selection; however, together with nonselecting stroma and nominal peptide, there was inefficient positive. These results suggest multiple signaling in positive selection with selection events able to occur on multiple-cell types. The ease with which this model can be manipulated should greatly facilitate the resolution of the mechanisms of positive selection in normal and pathological states.