Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2002 Jun;31(2):411-30, viii
Immunogenetics Program, Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1450 NW 10th Ave., Miami, FL 33136, USA.
There is growing evidence that self-molecules with tissue-restricted expression are also expressed at low levels in the thymus, where such expression may affect the development of self-tolerance.
Genetic factors may modulate such expression and, in turn, influence susceptibility to autoimmune responses against specific molecules.
Contrasting reports exist regarding the phenotype of the cells that express self-molecules in the thymus.
Indeed, both bone marrow derived antigen-presenting cells and thymic epithelial cells were reported to express self-molecules with tissue-restricted expression.
Further studies of these cells and the mechanisms by which they exert their putative tolerogenic effects clearly are necessary.