Thymic T cell progenitor (TCP) importation is a periodic, gated event that is dependent on the expression of functional P-selectin ligands on TCPs. Occupancy of intrathymic TCP niches is believed to negatively regulate TCP importation, but the nature of this feedback mechanism is not yet resolved. We show that P-selectin and CCL25 are periodically expressed in the thymus and are essential parts of the thymic gate-keeping mechanism. Periodicity of thymic TCP receptivity and the size of the earliest intrathymic TCP pool were dependent on the presence of functional P-selectin ligand on TCPs. Furthermore, we show that the numbers of peripheral blood lymphocytes directly affected thymic P-selectin expression and TCP receptivity. We identified sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) as one feedback signal that could mediate influence of the peripheral lymphocyte pool on thymic TCP receptivity. Our findings suggest a model whereby thymic TCP importation is controlled by both early thymic niche occupancy and the peripheral lymphocyte pool via S1P.