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Blood. 1999 Jan 1;93(1):96-106.

Single adult human CD34(+)/Lin-/CD38(-) progenitors give rise to natural killer cells, B-lineage cells, dendritic cells, and myeloid cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Cancer Center, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Marrow stromal cultures support adult CD34(+)/Lin-/HLA-DR- or CD34(+)/Lin-/CD38(-) cell differentiation into natural killer (NK) or myeloid cells, but unlike committed lymphoid progenitors (CD34(+)/Lin-/CD45RA+/CD10(+)), no B cells are generated. We tested whether different microenvironments could establish a developmental link between the NK and B-cell lineages. Progenitors were cultured in limiting dilutions with interleukin-7 (IL-7), flt3 ligand (FL), c-kit ligand (KL), IL-3, IL-2, and AFT024, a murine fetal liver line, which supports culture of transplantable murine stem cells. NK cells, CD10(+)/CD19(+) B-lineage cells and dendritic cells (DC) developed from the same starting population and IL-7, FL, and KL were required in this process. Single cell deposition of 3,872 CD34(+)/Lin-/CD38(-) cells onto AFT024 with IL-7, FL, KL, IL-2, and IL-3 showed that a one time addition of IL-3 at culture initiation was essential for multilineage differentiation from single cells. Single and double lineage progeny were frequently detected, but more importantly, 2% of single cells could give rise to at least three lineages (NK cells, B-lineage cells, and DC or myeloid cells) providing direct evidence that NK and B-lineage differentiation derive from a common lymphomyeloid hematopoietic progenitor under the same conditions. This study provides new insights into the role of the microenvironment niche, which governs the earliest events in lymphoid development.

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