Exploring the role of Notch1 in fetal and postnatal development of thymic epithelial cells
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Notch1 signaling is known required for thymocyte development in the thymus, but little is known for its role in the development of thymic epithelial cells (TECs). In my study, I used immunostaining of DL4 and NOTCH1 antibody to determine their expression patterns in the embryonic thymus. I found that NOTCH1 is expressed in a putative progenitor population of TECs marked by PLET-1. To determine its role in the development of TECs, I used tissue-specific Cre recombinase to knock out Notch1 gene from all TECs. My results show that Notch1 signaling is required for the embryonic differentiation of medullary TECs as well as the maintenance of PLET-1+ progenitor population of TECs. However, Notch1 deletion from TECs does not affect postnatal development of TECs or thymocyte development.