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Immunity. 2007 Jun;26(6):678-89.

Commitment and developmental potential of extrathymic and intrathymic T cell precursors: plenty to choose from.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


T cells developing in the thymus are derived from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the bone marrow (BM). Understanding the developmental steps linking multipotent HSCs to intrathymic T lineage-committed progenitors is important for understanding cancer in T lineage cells, improving T cell reconstitution after BM transplantation, and designing gene-therapy approaches to treat defective T cell development or function. Such an understanding may also help ameliorate immunological defects in aging. This review covers the differentiation steps between HSCs and committed T cell progenitors within the thymus.

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