GKLF in thymus epithelium as a developmentally regulated element of thymocyte-stroma cross-talk

Maddalena Panigada, Simona Porcellini, Francesca Sutti, Luisa Doneda, Ombretta Pozzoli, G. Giacomo Consalez, Maria Guttinger, Fabio Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gut-enriched Kruppel-like factor (GKLF) is a transcriptional regulator expressed in differentiated epithelia. We identified GKLF transcript as a regulated element in thymic epithelium of recombinase-deficient mice during thymus development induced by anti-CD3 antibody injection. This treatment recapitulates the organogenetic process depending on productive rearrangement of T cell receptor (TCR) β gene with thymocytes expansion and acquisition of the CD4+8+ double positive phenotype. In wildtype mice, GKLF is expressed very early in embryogenesis and becomes intensely up-regulated in thymus epithelium at day 18 of gestation when TCR β expressing cells have selectively expanded and express both CD4 and CD8. The results presented here suggest that thymocytes may regulate GKLF transcriptionally in the cortical epithelium at the developmental check-point controlled by TCR β gene rearrangement. Furthermore, GKLF expression in hematopoietic stroma might suggest the thus far uncharacterised participation of this factor in hematopoiesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1999


  • Gene regulation
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Stromal cells
  • Thymus
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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