2B). Later time points (E13.5, E14.5, and E15.5) of thymic development
were also analyzed for the presence of EGFP+ TECs; however, no cells could be observed by fluorescence microscopy (data not shown). This is in accordance with the results obtained by flow-cytometry and RT-PCR. In sum, our results clearly show that Lgr5+ TECs are present in the thymus during fetal development. Lgr5 marks a distinct subset of fetal TECs and its expression is initiated prior to E10.5 and declines in time, until it is undetectable at E19.5. In order to evaluate the fate of fetal Lgr5+ TECs, Lgr5-EGFP-IRES-CreERT2 females were time mated with Rosa26-Stop-EYFP males to https://www.selleckchem.com/products/INCB18424.html generate 4-hydroxytamoxifen-inducible lineage tracer mice. Pregnant lineage tracer mice were i.p. injected at 10.5 dpc (days post coïtus) with 0.1 mg/g 4-hydroxytamoxifen to induce creERT2-mediated expression of enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) (Fig. 3A). Three days after EYFP induction, the embryos were harvested and the thymus isolated and analyzed. As a positive control for intraembryonic recombination in Lgr5+ cells we coisolated from the same embryo the tongue region that always showed high levels of Lgr5 expression in sections of the complete Lgr5:EGFP embryos. For the tongue Selleck isocitrate dehydrogenase inhibitor region, total CD45− cells were
analyzed and for the thymus the EpCAM+CD45− population was analyzed. As shown in Figure 3B, left panel, the tongue region contained a large proportion of EGFP+ cells, a small proportion of EYFP+ cells at E14.5 and a minor population of EGFP+EYFP+ double-positive cells at E13.5 and E14.5, indicating the induction of CreERT2. However, the E13.5 and E14.5 fetal thymus from the same embryos did not contain any detectable EYFP+
or EGFP+EYFP+ epithelial cells (Fig. 3B, right panel). These data show that the Lgr5 expressing TECs in the E10.5 thymic primordium do not give rise to detectable numbers of progeny in the E13.5 and E14.5 fetal thymus. To assess whether there is a functional role for the Lgr5 protein during thymic development, we analyzed newborn thymi of individual Lgr5+/− and Lgr5−/− mice for the distribution of double negative (DN), double positive (DP), and single positive (SP) (Fig. 4A) and DN1-DN4 thymocytes (Fig. 4B). As shown in Figure 4B and C thymocyte subsets were distributed normally (no significant difference), suggesting that the absence of Lgr5 did not grossly affect Ketotifen thymopoeisis. Next, we compared the epithelial fractions of the newborn Lgr5+/− and Lgr5−/− thymic lobes by immunohistochemistry. The distribution of TECs and mesenchymal cells appeared normal in Lgr5−/− mice (Fig. 4C). In addition, medullary and cortical subsets were present as demonstrated by expression of cytokeratin5 and cytokeratin8 (Fig. 4D). Moreover, no difference in expression or distribution of MHCII, ulex europaeus agglutinin (UEA1), and Aire was found (Fig. 4E and F), suggesting that embryonic development of the thymus occurs independent of Lgr5.