Thymocyte Maturation Induced by a Cyclic AMP-Elevating Thymic Factor

  • A. Astaldi
  • G. C. B. Astaldi


The differentiation of T lymphocytes into mature immunocompetent cells is probably at least partially under the influence of factors secreted by the thymus, as suggested by experiments in a diffusion chamber (1, 2). Several factors, acting on T-cell differentiation, have been found in thymic extracts, in peripheral blood and in supernatants of thymic epithelial cultures (for review, see ref. 3). Probably, these factors act via specific membrane receptors. Indirect evidence (4) suggests that cyclic AMP (cAMP) may play a’ second messenger’ role in the induction of T-cell differentiation by thymic factors. A thymic humoral factor (THF) (5) and a thymic epithelial culture supernatant (TES) (6) also induce an increase in intracellular cAMP levels in thymocytes. By means of direct measurement of intracellular cAMP in human and mouse thymocytes in vitro, we demonstrated the existence in human serum of a thymus-dependent factor (SF) (7) which has the capacity to increase cAMP levels.


Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Intracellular cAMP Level Mouse Thymocyte Immature Thymocyte 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Astaldi
    • 1
  • G. C. B. Astaldi
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion ServiceAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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