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By B. von Gaudecker (auth.), Hans Konrad Müller-Hermelink (eds.)

Twenty-five years have handed because J. MILLER'S uncomplicated paintings at the important function of the thymus for the iteration of immunological reactivi­ ty. in this time, the abundance of interesting literature at the immunological and sensible elements of this organ has been unlike the paucity of news on its position in pathology. The causal or formal pathogenesis even of a few of the well-documented pathological fea­ tures is to this point unexplained or not less than doubtful. regardless of a few concep­ tual development concerning the paintings of CASTLEMAN, LEVINE, and ROSAI, we unfortunately need to say that during pathology the thymus continues to be virtually as inconspicuous as 25 years in the past. merely the hot suggestions constructed in recent times have made it attainable to appear as heavily into the advanced structural association of the thymus because it seems to be essential to become aware of and record abnormalities. significant steps were enthusiastic about the arrival of mono­ clonal antibody immune histochemistry and with unique ultrastructur­ al experiences in embryology. At this aspect, pathologists and researchers with a distinct curiosity within the thymus have been requested to offer overviews in their respective fields of curiosity in mild of modern findings in immunology and simple insights into the structural-functional interrelationship of the human thymus. the result of this initiative were introduced jointly during this volume.

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Extra info for The Human Thymus: Histophysiology and Pathology

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13. a, b Thymus medulla of a 63-year old man. Rounded myoid cell. Bundles of myofilaments are randomly orientated. Thin filaments are attached to dense patches of Z line material (2). In cross section, thick filaments display a hexagonal arrangement (arrows), being surrounded by variable numbers of thin filaments. a x 60000; b x 13200. c Thymus medulla of a 7-year-old boy. Elongated myoid cell with cross striation, containing sarcomeric arrangement of myofilaments with Z lines similar to a sarcomere of striated muscle in a contracted state.

Cortical thymocytes obviously sojourn within these epithelial cell aggregates. x 1700 28 B. VON GAUDECKER Fig. 16a, b. Thymus of a fetus, C-H length 180 mm (ca. ). a Small cortical thymocytes with round nuclei . Clumps of heterochromatin material are disposed along the nuclear membrane and in the nucleoplasm. The smooth surface plasma membranes lie closely together without interdigitations. b Medullary small thymocyte (Ly) in close contact with the cytoplasm of an interdigitating cell (IDC). Note the bluntly lobulated nucleus and the small aggregation of lysosomal structures (arrow) near the Golgi field.

In this fetal stage many thymocytes in the entire cortical region appear to stay in intimate contact with the epithelial cells. In the postnatal thymus (Fig. 14c) differences between the outer cortex and the inner cortex are obvious. In the outer cortex small groups or even single nonreacting lymphoid cells are surrounded by intensely reacting epithelial cell processes. Here intimate cell contact between cortical thymocytes and epithelial cells is realized, which might be comparable to the situation within the TNCs in vitro.

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