RAG2 severe combined immune deficiency (RAG2-SCID) is a lethal disorder caused by the absence of functional T and B cells due to a differentiation block. Here, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a RAG2-SCID patient to study the nature of the T cell developmental blockade. We observed a strongly reduced capacity to differentiate at every investigated stage of T cell development, from early CD7-CD5- to CD4+CD8+. The impaired differentiation was accompanied by an increase in CD7-CD56+CD33+ natural killer (NK) cell-like cells. T cell receptor D rearrangements were completely absent in RAG2SCID cells, whereas the rare T cell receptor B rearrangements were likely the result of illegitimate rearrangements. Repair of RAG2 restored the capacity to induce T cell receptor rearrangements, normalized T cell development, and corrected the NK cell-like phenotype. In conclusion, we succeeded in generating an iPSC-based RAG2-SCID model, which enabled the identification of previously unrecognized disorder-related T cell developmental roadblocks.
Keywords: CD56(+)CD33(+); NK cells; RAG; SCID; T cell development; disease modeling; iPSC; immunodeficiency.
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