Cysts in Human Thymus: Maturational Forms of Hassal's Corpuscles?


Örs Ü., DAĞDEVİREN A., Kaymaz F. F. , MÜFTÜOĞLU S. F.

Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica, vol.76, no.1, pp.61-70, 1999 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.2535/ofaj1936.76.1_61
  • Journal Name: Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.61-70
  • Keywords: Cyst, Hassal's corpuscle, Human thymus, Immunohistochemistry

Abstract

Presence of extracellular cystic cavities in the thymus of many vertebrates has long been known. Various forms of such structures in human thymus were observed and examined thoroughly on immunostained and serial semithin sections. We grouped these structures into five categories according to their most characteristic features. The lympho-epithelial content of the cysts clearly reflected the structural features and antigenic profile of thymic cortical parenchyma in both elongated and ovo-spherical cysts. Our findings suggest that the various types of cystic structures observed in human thymus may represent maturational stages of classical Hassal's corpuscles. Presence of cortical lympho-epithelial content and its gradual replacement with debris material also suggests a unique mechanism of thymocyte disposal.