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Blood. 2010 Jul 15;116(2):183-92. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-10-247130. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

Identification of an NK/T cell-restricted progenitor in adult bone marrow contributing to bone marrow- and thymic-dependent NK cells.

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  • 1Hematopoietic Stem Cell Laboratory, Lund Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Although bone marrow (BM) is the main site of natural killer (NK)-cell development in adult mice, recent studies have identified a distinct thymic-dependent NK pathway, implicating a possible close link between NK- and T-cell development in adult hematopoiesis. To investigate whether a potential NK-/T-lineage restriction of multipotent progenitors might take place already in the BM, we tested the full lineage potentials of NK-cell progenitors in adult BM. Notably, although Lin(-)CD122(+)NK1.1(-)DX5(-) NK-cell progenitors failed to commit to the B and myeloid lineages, they sustained a combined NK- and T-cell potential in vivo and in vitro at the single-cell level. Whereas T-cell development from NK/T progenitors is Notch-dependent, their contribution to thymic and BM NK cells remains Notch-independent. These findings demonstrate the existence of bipotent NK-/T-cell progenitors in adult BM.

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