The classical model of hematopoiesis established in the mouse postulates that lymphoid cells originate from a founder population of common lymphoid progenitors. Here, using a modeling approach in humanized mice, we showed that human lymphoid development stemmed from distinct populations of CD127- and CD127+ early lymphoid progenitors (ELPs). Combining molecular analyses with in vitro and in vivo functional assays, we demonstrated that CD127- and CD127+ ELPs emerged independently from lympho-mono-dendritic progenitors, responded differently to Notch1 signals, underwent divergent modes of lineage restriction, and displayed both common and specific differentiation potentials. Whereas CD127- ELPs comprised precursors of T cells, marginal zone B cells, and natural killer (NK) and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), CD127+ ELPs supported production of all NK cell, ILC, and B cell populations but lacked T potential. On the basis of these results, we propose a "two-family" model of human lymphoid development that differs from the prevailing model of hematopoiesis.
Keywords: B cell ontogeny; Human lymphopoiesis; T cell precursors; early lymphoid progenitors; natural killer and innate lymphoid cells differentiation.
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