Thymic emigration: When and how T cells leave home

Michael A. Weinreich, Kristin A Hogquist

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

128 Scopus citations


The thymus supports the differentiation of multiple distinct T cell subsets that play unique roles in the immune system. CD4 and CD8 α/β T cells, γ/δ T cells, NKT cells, regulatory T cells, and intraepithelial lymphocytes all develop in the thymus and must leave it to provide their functions elsewhere in the body. This article will review recent research indicating differences in the time and migration patterns of T cell subsets found in the thymus. Additionally, we review current understanding of the molecules involved in thymocyte emigration, including the sphingolipid receptor S1P1 and its regulation by the Krüppel-like transcription factor KLF2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2265-2270
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008


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