Thymic stromal cells: Roles in atrophy and age-associated dysfunction of the thymus

Sergio Cepeda, Ann V. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Atrophy of the thymus, the primary site of T lymphocyte generation, is a hallmark of the aging immune system. Age-associated thymic atrophy results in diminished output of new, naïve T cells, with immune sequelae that include diminished responses to novel pathogenic challenge and vaccines, as well as diminished tumor surveillance. Although a variety of stimuli are known to regulate transient thymic atrophy, mechanisms governing progressive age-associated atrophy have been difficult to resolve. This has been due in part to the fact that one of the primary targets of age-associated thymic atrophy is a relatively rare population, thymic stromal cells. This review focuses on changes in thymic stromal cells during aging and on the contributions of periodic, stochastic, and progressive causes of thymic atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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