Growth hormone in the presence of laminin modulates interaction of human thymic epithelial cells and thymocytes in vitro
Vieira,Larissa Fernanda de Araújo
Rosa,Alfredo Aurélio Marinho
BACKGROUND: Several evidences indicate that hormones and neuropeptides function as immunomodulators. Among these, growth hormone (GH) is known to act on the thymic microenvironment, supporting its role in thymocyte differentiation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of GH on human thymocytes and thymic epithelial cells (TEC) in the presence of laminin. RESULTS: GH increased thymocyte adhesion on BSA-coated and further on laminin-coated surfaces. The number of migrating cells in laminin-coated membrane was higher in GH-treated thymocyte group. In both results, VLA-6 expression on thymocytes was constant. Also, treatment with GH enhanced laminin production by TEC after 24 h in culture. However, VLA-6 integrin expression on TEC remained unchanged. Finally, TEC/thymocyte co-culture model demonstrated that GH elevated absolute number of double-negative (CD4-CD8-) and single-positive CD4+ and CD8+ thymocytes. A decrease in cell number was noted in double-positive (CD4+CD8+) thymocytes. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate that GH is capable of enhancing the migratory capacity of human thymocytes in the presence of laminin and promotes modulation of thymocyte subsets after co-culture with TEC.