, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 371-382
Date: 17 Oct 2008

The long road to the thymus: the generation, mobilization, and circulation of T-cell progenitors in mouse and man

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Abstract

The majority of T cells develop in the thymus. T-cell progenitors in the thymus do not self-renew and so progenitor cells must be continuously imported from the blood into the thymus to maintain T-cell production. Recent work has shed light on both the identity of the cells that home to the thymus and the molecular mechanisms involved. This review will discuss the cells in the bone marrow and blood that are involved in early thymopoiesis in mouse and man. Understanding the pre-thymic steps in T-cell development may translate into new therapeutics, especially in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.