The Thymus

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Where is the thymus located?

Behind the sternum and in front of the heart

Which cells mature in the thymus?

T cells

What is the function of T cells in the immune system?

To recognize and kill infected cells

What happens to the size of the thymus as a person grows older?

It becomes smaller

What are thymocytes?

Immature B cells

Study Notes

Thymus and T Cells

  • The thymus is located in the chest, just behind the breastbone (sternum).
  • Immature cells called thymocytes mature in the thymus to become T cells (T lymphocytes).
  • The function of T cells is to recognize and attack infected cells or foreign substances in the body, playing a central role in cell-mediated immunity.
  • As a person grows older, the size of the thymus decreases, reducing its ability to produce new T cells.
  • Thymocytes are immature cells in the thymus that mature to become T cells, which then migrate to lymph nodes, spleen, and other lymphoid organs.

Test your knowledge about the thymus, the primary lymphoid organ involved in T cell maturation and the adaptive immune system. Learn about its location, function, and importance in fighting off foreign invaders.

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