Critical role of FLT3 ligand in IL-7 receptor independent T lymphopoiesis and regulation of lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors.
Sitnicka E., Buza-Vidas N., Ahlenius H., Cilio CM., Gekas C., Nygren JM., Månsson R., Cheng M., Jensen CT., Svensson M., Leandersson K., Agace WW., Sigvardsson M., Jacobsen SE.
The molecular pathways regulating lymphoid priming, fate, and development of multipotent bone marrow (BM) stem/progenitor cells that continuously replace thymic progenitors remain largely unknown. Herein, we show that fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) ligand (Fl)-deficient mice have distinct reductions in the earliest thymic progenitors in fetal, postnatal, and adult thymus. A critical role of FL in thymopoiesis was particularly evident in the absence of interleukin-7 receptor alpha (IL-7Ralpha) signaling. Fl-/-Il-7r-/- mice have extensive reductions in fetal and postnatal thymic progenitors that result in a loss of active thymopoiesis in adult mice, demonstrating an indispensable role of FL in IL-7Ralpha-independent fetal and adult T lymphopoiesis. Moreover, we establish a unique and critical role of FL, distinct from that of IL-7Ralpha, in regulation of the earliest lineage-negative (Lin(-)) Lin(-)SCA1+KIT+ (LSK) FLT3(hi) lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors in BM, demonstrating a key role of FLT3 signaling in regulating the very earliest stages of lymphoid progenitors.