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Nat Immunol. 2014 Jan;15(1):27-35. doi: 10.1038/ni.2782. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

Two waves of distinct hematopoietic progenitor cells colonize the fetal thymus.

Author information

1
1] Unit for Lymphopoiesis, Immunology Department, INSERM U668 Paris, France. [2] Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France. [3].
2
1] Unit for Lymphopoiesis, Immunology Department, INSERM U668 Paris, France. [2] Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Cellule Pasteur, Paris, France. [3].
3
1] Unit for Lymphopoiesis, Immunology Department, INSERM U668 Paris, France. [2].
4
Unit for Lymphopoiesis, Immunology Department, INSERM U668 Paris, France.

Abstract

The generation of T cells depends on the migration of hematopoietic progenitor cells to the thymus throughout life. The identity of the thymus-settling progenitor cells has been a matter of considerable debate. Here we found that thymopoiesis was initiated by a first wave of T cell lineage-restricted progenitor cells with limited capacity for population expansion but accelerated differentiation into mature T cells. They gave rise to αβ and γδ T cells that constituted Vγ3(+) dendritic epithelial T cells. Thymopoiesis was subsequently maintained by less-differentiated progenitor cells that retained the potential to develop into B cells and myeloid cells. In that second wave, which started before birth, progenitor cells had high proliferative capacity but delayed differentiation capacity and no longer gave rise to embryonic γδ T cells. Our work reconciles conflicting hypotheses on the nature of thymus-settling progenitor cells.

PMID:
24317038
DOI:
10.1038/ni.2782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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