The cell surface molecule identified by a monoclonal antibody(TE-1) to human thymic epithelial cell showed the specificity for thymic epithelial cells of both the cortex and medulla. TE-1 reacted with the epithelial cells of normal thymus and thymoma in fresh frozen tissues. The antigen recognized by TE-1 was mostly confined to the cell surface membrane and arranged in reticular network with long processes between thymocytes. On immunohistochemical analysis, TE-1 did not recognize normal epithelial cells of the uterine cervix, skin and stomach, and neoplastic cells of squamous cell carcinoma and gastric adenocarcinoma, all of which were stained with anti-cytokeratin monoclonal antibody. Among the tumor cell lines tested with flow cytometry, most of epithelial and all of hematopoietic cell origin were not labeled with TE-1. In summary, TE-1 appears to be a monoclonal antibody against a surface antigen of human thymic epithelial cell that is immunohistologically different from known epithelial cell surface antigens reported so far.
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