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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31682

Title: Functional Characterization of T-lineage Cells derived in vitro from Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Authors: Awong, Geneve
Advisor: Zuniga-Pflucker, Juan Carlos
Department: Immunology
Keywords: Notch
hematopoietic stem cell
T cell development
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2012
Abstract: T lymphocytes play a critical role in adaptive immunity by eliciting and regulating specific immune responses against viral and bacterial pathogens. The development of T cells occurs within the highly specialized thymus and follows a defined set of stage-specific differentiation steps. However, the molecular and cellular events occurring at early stages of human T-cell development remain to be fully elucidated. This was in part due to the inability to obtain substantial numbers of T-lineage cells from hybrid/human fetal thymic organ culture (FTOC) and the inability to recapitulate human T-lymphopoiesis using other systems. To address the molecular and cellular events occurring during early human T-lymphopoiesis, human umbilical cord-blood (UCB) hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) were induced to differentiate to the T-lineage utilizing OP9-DL1 stromal cells. A developmental program involving a sequential and temporally discrete expression of key differentiation markers was revealed. In addition, this Thesis demonstrates that in vitro-generated CD34+CD7++ progenitors effectively engrafted the thymus of immunodeficient mice. In addition, two distinct progenitor subsets, CD34+CD45RA+CD7++CD5-CD1a- (proT1) and CD34+CD45RA+CD7++CD5+CD1a- (proT2), were identified with proT2 cells showing a 3-fold enhanced engrafting capacity than the proT1 subset. As proT2 cells exhibit superior engrafting capacity, these cells were tested for their ability to enhance T cell generation following hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). We observe that when HSCs are coinjected with proT2 cells, a dramatic improvement in HSC-derived T-lymphopoiesis is observed. This Thesis demonstrates that in vitro-derived proT2 cells reorganize the thymus stromal compartment of the host NOD/SCID/╬│cnull mouse compared to the highly disorganized cortical and medullary compartments in mice not receiving proT cells. This alteration in thymic architecture likely favours the recruitment of BM derived progenitors. Lastly, we address whether functional CD8 T cells can be generated in vitro using hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in coculture with OP9-DL1 cells and indeed these cells were capable of proliferating, and secreting effector molecules typical of cytotoxic T cells. Taken together, the ability to generate proT cells and mature T cells from Notch-ligand cultures offers a new tool to study human T cell development.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31682
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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