Mouse bone marrow contains spontaneous rosette-forming cells (RFC) which include more than 70% T-cell precursors, as assessed by their transformation into theta-positive cells after incubation with thymic hormone. Such spontaneous RFC, examined in C57B1/6 mouse bone marrow by electron and scanning electron microscopy, have consistently been shown to be small, inactive mouse lymphocytes when macrophages have been eliminated by cell preincubation. These data suggest that thymic hormone target cells include small quiescent lymphocytes.

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