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Annu Rev Immunol. 2006;24:287-320.

Development of human lymphoid cells.

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Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1105 AZ, The Netherlands.


The lymphocytes, T, B, and NK cells, and a proportion of dendritic cells (DCs) have a common developmental origin. Lymphocytes develop from hematopoietic stem cells via common lymphocyte and various lineage-restricted precursors. This review discusses the current knowledge of human lymphocyte development and the phenotypes and functions of the rare intermediate populations that together form the pathways of development into T, B, and NK cells and DCs. Clearly, development of hematopoietic cells is supported by cytokines. The studies of patients with genetic deficiencies in cytokine receptors that are discussed here have illuminated the importance of cytokines in lymphoid development. Lineage decisions are under control of transcription factors, and studies performed in the past decade have provided insight into transcriptional control of human lymphoid development, the results of which are summarized and discussed in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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