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May 8, 1967

The Thymus: Experimental and Clinical Studies

JAMA. 1967;200(6):562. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120190188045

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This three-day symposium on the thymus was a veritable "summit meeting," as reflected in participants, contents, and scope of treatment. Investigations utilizing the modern biotechnology of electron microscopy, histochemistry, immunochemistry, cytogenetics, and tissue culture have provided significant information on the physiologic role of the thymus in lymphopoiesis and the development of cellular and humoral immunologic capacities. Elaborate experimental designs that have been brought to bear on suitable animal models have furnished support for the participation of the thymus in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and in some forms of carcinogenesis and leukemogenesis, especially those initiated by viruses or ionizing radiation.

Another group of presentations deals expertly with human diseases now acknowledged as caused by thymic lesions or associated therewith, including genetic dysplasias of the organ, genetic or acquired immunologic deficiencies, thymoma associated with myasthenia gravis or with pure red cell anemia, thymic changes in systemic lupus erythematosus, and in some