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Immunol Rev. 2010 Nov;238(1):12-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065X.2010.00956.x.

T-cell lineage determination.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


T cells originate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow but complete their development in the thymus. HSCs give rise to a variety of non-renewing hematopoietic progenitors, among which a rare subset migrates to the thymus via the bloodstream. The earliest T-cell progenitors identified in the thymus are not T-lineage restricted but possess the ability to give rise to cells of many different lineages. Alternative lineage potentials are gradually lost as progenitors progress toward later developmental stages. Here, we review the early developmental events that might be involved in T-cell lineage fate determination, including the properties of possible thymus-settling progenitors, their homing into the thymus, and their T-cell lineage specification and commitment.

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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