Pairs of monoclonal/polyclonal antibodies directed against interleukin-1 (IL-1) alpha, IL-1 beta and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha were used for immunocytochemical identification of cytokine-containing cells in cryostat sections of human fetal thymuses and thymomas. In the fetal thymus immunoreactivity for IL-1 alpha was mainly confined to the medulla and was detected in S-100 positive interdigitating reticulum cells. The pattern of immunoreactivity for IL-1 beta was similar to that for IL-1 alpha, but the number of positive cells was much lower. Cells positive for TNF alpha were extremely rare in the fetal thymus. In 11 thymomas macrophages were constantly present and were regularly distributed throughout the tumour, whereas S-100 positive interdigitating reticulum cells were fewer and were characterized by a zonal distribution. Thymoma-associated macrophages were negative for IL-1 beta and were poorly reactive for IL-1 alpha, only a few positive cells being detected in five of the cases. Some macrophages with immunoreactivity for TNF alpha were detected in seven cases: they formed rosettes with surrounding lymphocytes or were located in a perivascular position. A marked immunoreactivity for TNF alpha was constantly detected in mast cell granules, which were observed in nine thymomas but not in fetal thymus. Positive immunoreactivity of interdigitating reticulum cells for IL-1 alpha was confirmed in five reactive lymph nodes and was also observed in Langerhans' cells in dermatopathic lymphadenitis. Our findings suggest that IL-1 alpha is a crucial molecule for interdigitating reticulum cell and Langerhans' cell function. Furthermore, they indicate that most thymic cortical macrophages and thymoma-associated macrophages are poorly active in the production of IL-1 and TNF alpha.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|
- Interdigitating reticulum cells
- Tumour necrosis factor alpha
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology