Induction of Apoptosis in Thymocytes By Prostaglandin E2 in Vivo

Antonio Mastino, Sandro Grelli, Cartesio Favalli, Lucio Tentori, Enrico Garaci, Mauro Piacentini, Serafina Oliverio, Sandro Grelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo administration in mice of a synthetic analog of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) caused a selective and dramatic decrease of CD4+CD8+ double-positive, CD3/T-cell-receptor-αblo cells in the thymus. This loss was corticosteroid-independent and not affected by Cyclosporin A. The disappearance of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes was strictly correlated with the induction of apoptosis inside the thymus as shown by morphological studies and by the induction of intracellular transglutaminase expression. Considering that PGE2 has been found to be produced by different cell populations inside the thymus, these results indicate that PGE2 may act as endogenous signals for apoptosis during T-cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • apoptosis
  • Prostaglandin E
  • T-cell development
  • thymocyte subsets
  • tissue transglutaminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Developmental Biology


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