The earliest thymic T cell progenitors sustain B cell and myeloid lineage potential.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The stepwise commitment from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow to T lymphocyte-restricted progenitors in the thymus represents a paradigm for understanding the requirement for distinct extrinsic cues during different stages of lineage restriction from multipotent to lineage-restricted progenitors. However, the commitment stage at which progenitors migrate from the bone marrow to the thymus remains unclear. Here we provide functional and molecular evidence at the single-cell level that the earliest progenitors in the neonatal thymus had combined granulocyte-monocyte, T lymphocyte and B lymphocyte lineage potential but not megakaryocyte-erythroid lineage potential. These potentials were identical to those of candidate thymus-seeding progenitors in the bone marrow, which were closely related at the molecular level. Our findings establish the distinct lineage-restriction stage at which the T cell lineage-commitment process transits from the bone marrow to the remote thymus.


  • Sidinh Luc
  • Tiago C Luis
  • Hanane Boukarabila
  • Iain C Macaulay
  • Natalija Buza-Vidas
  • Tiphaine Bouriez-Jones
  • Michael Lutteropp
  • Petter S Woll
  • Stephen J Loughran
  • Adam J Mead
  • John Brown
  • Takuo Mizukami
  • Sahoko Matsuoka
  • Helen Ferry
  • Kristina Anderson
  • Sara Duarte
  • Deborah Atkinson
  • Shamit Soneji
  • Aniela Domanski
  • Alison Farley
  • Alejandra Sanjuan-Pla
  • Cintia Carella
  • Roger Patient
  • Marella de Bruijn
  • Tariq Enver
  • Claus Nerlov
  • Clare Blackburn
  • Isabelle Godin
  • Sten Eirik W Jacobsen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch