Requirement of Stat3 Signaling in the Postnatal Development of Thymic Medullary Epithelial Cells

Rumi Satoh, Kiyokazu Kakugawa, Takuwa Yasuda, Hisahiro Yoshida, Maria Sibilia, Yoshimoto Katsura, Ben Levi, Jakub Abramson, Yoko Koseki, Haruhiko Koseki, Willem van Ewijk, Georg A. Hollander, Hiroshi Kawamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Thymic medullary regions are formed in neonatal mice as islet-like structures, which increase in size over time and eventually fuse a few weeks after birth into a continuous structure. The development of medullary thymic epithelial cells (TEC) is dependent on NF-κB associated signaling though other signaling pathways may contribute. Here, we demonstrate that Stat3-mediated signals determine medullary TEC cellularity, architectural organization and hence the size of the medulla. Deleting Stat3 expression selectively in thymic epithelia precludes the postnatal enlargement of the medulla retaining a neonatal architecture of small separate medullary islets. In contrast, loss of Stat3 expression in cortical TEC neither affects the cellularity or organization of the epithelia. Activation of Stat3 is mainly positioned downstream of EGF-R as its ablation in TEC phenocopies the loss of Stat3 expression in these cells. These results indicate that Stat3 meditated signal via EGF-R is required for the postnatal development of thymic medullary regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1005776
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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