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Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Apr;14(2):200-6.

On the brink of becoming a T cell.

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Recent studies provide fresh insight into the mechanisms by which precursor cells are committed to and develop within the T-lymphocyte lineage. Precursor/product studies have identified developmental stages between that of the pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell and thymocytes committed to the T lineage. Specific ligands and signaling pathways interacting with the Notch-1 receptor and its ability to influence commitment within the lymphoid lineage have been described. Although the structural features or putative ligands endowing the pre-TCR with constitutive signaling capacity remain elusive, numerous distal mediators of pre-TCR signaling have been identified. It remains for the future to determine what roles they may have in survival, proliferation, lineage commitment and allelic exclusion of TCR genes. Receptor editing and lineage commitment of alphabeta T cells still represent controversial topics that need further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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