The function of Hassall's corpuscles is currently unclear, and the absence of this structure in the murine thymus has restricted mechanistic dissection. It is known that Hassall's corpuscles are a potent source of the cytokineTSLP. In vitro, TSLP directs the maturation of dendritic cells, and increases the ability of dendritic cells to convert naive thymocytes to a Foxp3+ regulatory T cell lineage. It is unknown if this is the physiological function of Hassall's corpuscles in vivo.
Hassall's corpuscles vary in size with diameters from 20 to more than 100μm, and tend to grow larger with age.