Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11781226
Blood 2002 Jan;99(2):463-71
This article describes the isolation of a novel cell population (B220(lo)c-kit(+)CD19(-)) in the fetal liver that represents 70% of T-cell precursors in this organ. Interestingly, these precursors showed a bipotent T-cell and natural killer cell (NK)- restricted reconstitution potential but completely lacked B and erythromyeloid differentiation capacity both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, not only mature T-cell receptor (TCR)alphabeta(+) peripheral T cells but also TCRgammadelta(+) and TCRalphabeta(+)CD8alphaalpha(+) intestinal epithelial cells of extrathymic origin were generated in reconstituted mice. The presence of this population in the fetal liver of athymic embryos indicates its prethymic origin. The comparison of the phenotype and differentiation potential of B220(lo)c-kit(+)CD19(-) fetal liver cells with those of thymic T/NK progenitors indicates that this is the most immature common T/NK cell progenitor so far identified. These fetal liver progenitors may represent the immediate developmental step before thymic immigration.