Thymocytes develop into mature functional T cells in the inductive environment of the thymus where thymocyte-stromal cell interactions and cytokines provide survival and differentiation signals as cues for thymocyte maturation. Disruption of the thymic microenvironment results in attenuation of T cell maturation, suggesting that intrathymic signals are essential for differentiation and repertoire selection. We have previously shown that several inducible nuclear factors such as AP-1, NF-AT, and NF-κB are activated in response to intrathymic signals. Here we demonstrate that in thymocytes p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, a member of the MAP kinase family of proteins that include the extracellular-signal regulated kinases and Jun amino-terminal kinases, is highly activated in response to intrathymic signals in vivo. These studies suggest a role for p38 MAP kinase in T cell survival and differentiation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jun 15 1996|
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