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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Apr 2;99(7):4508-13. Epub 2002 Mar 26.

Lineage infidelity in myeloid cells with TCR gene rearrangement: a latent developmental potential of proT cells revealed by ectopic cytokine receptor signaling.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The most immature lymphoid-committed progenitors in both the bone marrow (common lymphoid progenitor) and thymus (proT1) maintain a latent granulocyte/macrophage (G/M) differentiation potential that can be initiated by signals emanating from exogenously expressed IL-2 receptors. In this study, we investigate at which developmental stage thymocytes lose this G/M differentiation potential. We demonstrate that the next maturational stage after proT1 cells (proT2), but not preT (TN3) cells, can convert cell fate from lymphoid to myeloid in response to ectopic IL-2 receptor signaling in human IL-2Rbeta transgenic mice. It is significant that approximately 10% of clonogenic G/M colonies derived from proT cells of IL-2Rbeta transgenic mice have DJ rearrangement specifically at the Dbeta1 but not Dbeta2 segment in the TCRbeta locus. No TCR gene rearrangement is observed in G/M cells from nontransgenic mice, suggesting that the G/M cells we observe in this system were truly lymphoid-committed before stimulation with IL-2. In addition, Dbeta1 and Dbeta2 DJ rearrangement of the TCRbeta gene may be differentially regulated and thus serve as markers for distinct proT cell maturational stages.

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