In vitro generation of immune cells from pluripotent stem cells

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2011 Jan 1;16:1488-504. doi: 10.2741/3800.


Stem cell transplant recipients and acquired or inherited immune-deficiency patients could benefit from the infusion of B, T and/or NK cells. These lymphoid cells can be generated in vitro from bone marrow derived CD34+CD45+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). The number of cells that can be obtained in this way is limited especially in the adult. An alternative source may therefore constitute human pluripotent stem cells (PSC) such as embryonic (hESC) or induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). Here, we focus on present knowledge on the generation of lymphoid cells from hESC. The two main obstacles for the generation of clinically relevant immune cells are the failure to generate from hESC long-term repopulating HSC which could be kept in culture for prolonged time; and insufficient knowledge of the selection process which generates mature T cells from CD4 CD8 double positive (DP) precursors in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology
  • Mice
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD34