Bone marrow-derived IL-13Ra1-positive thymic progenitors are restricted to the myeloid lineage

Cara L. Haymaker, F. Betul Guloglu, Jason A. Cascio, John C. Hardaway, Mermagya Dhakal, Xiaoxiao Wan, Christine M. Hoeman, Sarah Zaghouani, Linda M. Rowland, Danielle M. Tartar, Amie M. VanMorlan, Habib Zaghouani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The earliest thymic progenitors (ETPs) were recently shown to give rise to both lymphoid and myeloid cells. Whereas the majority of ETPs are derived from IL-7Rα-positive cells and give rise exclusively to T cells, the origin of the myeloid cells remains undefined. In this study, we show both in vitro and in vivo that IL-13Rα1 + ETPs yield myeloid cells with no potential for maturation into T cells, whereas IL-13Rα1 - ETPs lack myeloid potential. Moreover, transfer of lineage-negative IL-13Rα1 + bone marrow stem cells into IL-13Rα1-deficient mice reconstituted thymic IL-13Rα1 + myeloid ETPs. Myeloid cells or macrophages in the thymus are regarded as phagocytic cells whose function is to clear apoptotic debris generated during T cell development. However, the myeloid cells derived from IL-13Rα1 + ETPs were found to perform Ag-presenting functions. Thus, IL-13Rα1 defines a new class of myeloid restricted ETPs yielding APCs that could contribute to development of T cells and the control of immunity and autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3208-3216
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


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