The Thymus pp 32-43 | Cite as

Regulation of Thymic Lymphopoiesis

  • Donald Metcalf
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research / Fortschritte der Krebsforschung / Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 5)


Lymphopoiesis is extremely active in the thymus. The primitive thymic lymphoid cells probably divide more frequently than any other cell type in the adult animal (every 6–8 hours) and even the non-dividing population of small lymphocytes in the thymus is replaced at a remarkably rapid rate (every 3–4 days). This spectacular lymphopoietic activity implies the operation of an intense proliferative stimulus on thymic lymphoid cells. Further, since thymic lymphopoiesis differs so obviously from that in other lymphoid organs, it suggests that this proliferative stimulus either has a selective effect on thymic cells, or more likely, has an intrinsic origin with the organ itself.


Lymphoid Cell Reticulum Cell Small Lymphocyte Thymus Tissue Thymus Weight 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Metcalf
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research Unit. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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