The differentiation potential of T lineage cells becomes restricted soon after entry of multipotent precursors into the thymus and is accompanied by a downregulation of the transcription factors C/EBP alpha and PU.1. To investigate this restriction point, we have expressed C/EBP alpha and PU.1 in fully committed pre-T cells and found that C/EBP alpha (and C/EBP beta) induced the formation of functional macrophages. In contrast, PU.1 converted them into myeloid dendritic cells under identical culture conditions. C/EBP alpha-induced reprogramming is complex because upregulation of some but not all myelomonocytic markers required endogenous PU.1. Notch signaling partially inhibited C/EBP alpha-induced macrophage formation and completely blocked PU.1-induced dendritic cell formation. Likewise, expression of intracellular Notch or the transcription factor GATA-3 inhibited C/EBP alpha-induced lineage conversion. Our data show that committed T cell progenitors remain susceptible to the lineage instructive effects of myeloid transcription factors and suggest that Notch signaling induces T lineage restriction by downregulating C/EBP alpha and PU.1 in multilineage precursors.