Extrathymic T cell differentiation in the human intestine early in life.

  title={Extrathymic T cell differentiation in the human intestine early in life.},
  author={Duncan Howie and J S Spencer and D DeLord and Costantino Pitzalis and Neville C Wathen and A. Latif Dogan and A. H. Akbar and Thomas Macdonald},
  journal={Journal of immunology},
  volume={161 11},
It is clear from experimental studies in mice that T cell maturation can occur outside the thymus, especially in the intestine. There is little sound evidence so far that extrathymic T cell maturation occurs to any significant extent in human gut, and, postnatally, there is abundant evidence that the gut mucosa is an immune effector organ. Here, we describe a large population of T lymphocytes in human fetal intestinal mucosa that are proliferating (Ki67+) in the absence of foreign Ag (CD3… CONTINUE READING
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