Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2008 Apr 10;452(7188):764-7. doi: 10.1038/nature06840.

The earliest thymic progenitors for T cells possess myeloid lineage potential.

Author information

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


There exists controversy over the nature of haematopoietic progenitors of T cells. Most T cells develop in the thymus, but the lineage potential of thymus-colonizing progenitors is unknown. One approach to resolving this question is to determine the lineage potentials of the earliest thymic progenitors (ETPs). Previous work has shown that ETPs possess T and natural killer lymphoid potentials, and rare subsets of ETPs also possess B lymphoid potential, suggesting an origin from lymphoid-restricted progenitor cells. However, whether ETPs also possess myeloid potential is unknown. Here we show that nearly all ETPs in adult mice possess both T and myeloid potential in clonal assays. The existence of progenitors possessing T and myeloid potential within the thymus is incompatible with the current dominant model of haematopoiesis, in which T cells are proposed to arise from lymphoid-. Our results indicate that alternative models for lineage commitment during haematopoiesis must be considered.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center