Retroviral Gene Transduction into T Cell Progenitors for Analysis of T Cell Development in the Thymus

  • Ryunosuke Muro
  • Hiroshi Takayanagi
  • Takeshi NittaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2111)


The thymus is an organ where T cells develop throughout life. Using mice as a model animal, molecular mechanisms of intrathymic T cell development have been studied. Fetal thymus organ culture technique enables ex vivo reconstitution of fetal-specific T cell development, while bone marrow chimera technique allows in vivo reconstitution of T cell development in adult thymus. These techniques can be combined with retroviral gene transduction into the T cell progenitors to evaluate the function of genes of interest in developing T cells. Here, we describe the basic protocols for retrovirus gene transduction into fetal or adult T cell progenitors and reconstitution of thymic T cell development including experimental tips such as using cryopreserved fetal liver or bone marrow cells as sources of T cell progenitors.

Key words

Thymus T cells Retrovirus Fetal thymus organ culture Bone marrow chimera 



We thank S. Nitta and M. Tsutsumi for the technical assistance. This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (KAKENHI 15H05703, 16H05202, 16K19102, and 17H05788), the Kanehara-Ichiro Foundation (grants 29–23), and the Kanae Foundation for the promotion of medical science (grant 47th).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryunosuke Muro
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Takayanagi
    • 1
  • Takeshi Nitta
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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