The role of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in regulating immune responses in the thymus is currently unclear. Here we report the existence and role of a MSC population in the thymus that expresses the pericyte and MSC marker CD248 (endosialin). We show using a CD248-deficient mouse model, that CD248 expression on these cells is required for full post-natal thymus development and regeneration post-Salmonella infection. In CD248 -/- mice the thymus is hypocellular and regeneration is poorer, with significant loss of all thymocyte populations. This identifies the requirement of CD248 to maintain optimal thymic cellularity post-partum and infection.
Bibliographical note©2015 The Authors. Published by FEBS Press and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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