Infoscience

Journal article

Deletion of Notch1 converts pro-T cells to dendritic cells and promotes thymic B cells by cell-extrinsic and cell-intrinsic mechanisms

Notch1 signaling is required for T cell development and has been implicated in fate decisions in the thymus. We showed that Notch1 deletion in progenitor T cells (pro-T cells) revealed their latent developmental potential toward becoming conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. In addition, Notch1 deletion in pro-T cells resulted in large numbers of thymic B cells, previously explained by T-to-B cell fate conversion. Single-cell genotyping showed, however, that the majority of these thymic B cells arose from Notch1-sufficient cells by a cell-extrinsic pathway. Fate switching nevertheless exists for a subset of thymic B cells originating from Notch1-deleted pro-T cells. Chimeric mice lacking the Notch ligand delta-like 4 (Dll4) in thymus epithelium revealed an essential role for Dll4 in T cell development. Thus, Notch1-Dll4 signaling fortifies T cell commitment by suppressing non-T cell lineage potential in pro-T cells, and normal Notch1-driven T cell development repels excessive B cells in the thymus

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