As they differentiate, thymocytes encounter spatially restricted cues critical for differentiation and selection of a functional, self-tolerant T cell repertoire. Sequential migration of developing T cells through distinct thymic microenvironments is enforced by the ordered expression of chemokine receptors. Herein, we provide an updated perspective on T cell differentiation through the lens of recent advances that illuminate the dynamics of chemokine-driven thymocyte migration, localization, and interactions with stromal cells. We consider these findings in the context of earlier groundwork exploring the contribution of chemokines to T cell development, recent advances regarding the specificity of chemokine signaling, and novel techniques for evaluating the T cell repertoire. We suggest future research should amalgamate visualization of localized cellular interactions with downstream molecular signals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy