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Blood. 2007 Apr 15;109(8):3579-87. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

Enhanced T-cell reconstitution by hematopoietic progenitors expanded ex vivo using the Notch ligand Delta1.

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Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


A physiologic role for Notch signaling in hematopoiesis has been clearly defined in lymphoid differentiation, with evidence suggesting a critical role in T-cell versus B-cell fate decisions. Previously, we demonstrated that activation of endogenous Notch receptors by culture of murine lin(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(+) (LSK) hematopoietic progenitors with exogenously presented Notch ligand, Delta1(ext-IgG), consisting of the extracellular domain of Delta1 fused to the Fc domain of human IgG(1), promoted early T-cell differentiation and increased the number of progenitors capable of short-term lymphoid and myeloid reconstitution. Here we show that culture of LSK precursors with Delta1(ext-IgG) increases the number of progenitors that are able to rapidly repopulate the thymus and accelerate early T-cell reconstitution with a diversified T-cell receptor repertoire. Most of the early T-cell reconstitution originated from cells that expressed lymphoid-associated antigens: B220, Thy1, CD25, and/or IL7Ralpha, whereas the most efficient thymic repopulation on a per cell basis originated from the smaller number of cultured cells that did not express lymphoid-associated antigens. These findings demonstrate the potential of Delta1(ext-IgG)-cultured cells for accelerating early immune reconstitution after hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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