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Myelo-lymphoid lineage restriction occurs in the human haematopoietic stem cell compartment before lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors.

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Belluschi, Serena 
Calderbank, Emily F 
Ciaurro, Valerio 
Pijuan-Sala, Blanca 
Santoro, Antonella 


Capturing where and how multipotency is lost is crucial to understand how blood formation is controlled. Blood lineage specification is currently thought to occur downstream of multipotent haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Here we show that, in human, the first lineage restriction events occur within the CD19-CD34+CD38-CD45RA-CD49f+CD90+ (49f+) HSC compartment to generate myelo-lymphoid committed cells with no erythroid differentiation capacity. At single-cell resolution, we observe a continuous but polarised organisation of the 49f+ compartment, where transcriptional programmes and lineage potential progressively change along a gradient of opposing cell surface expression of CLEC9A and CD34. CLEC9AhiCD34lo cells contain long-term repopulating multipotent HSCs with slow quiescence exit kinetics, whereas CLEC9AloCD34hi cells are restricted to myelo-lymphoid differentiation and display infrequent but durable repopulation capacity. We thus propose that human HSCs gradually transition to a discrete lymphoid-primed state, distinct from lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors, representing the earliest entry point into lymphoid commitment.



Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, Multipotent Stem Cells

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (12029)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/P002293/1)
Wellcome Trust (206328/Z/17/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_12009)
Medical Research Council (MR/M008975/1)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R24DK106766)
Medical Research Council (MR/S036113/1)
We thank the Cambridge NIHR BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub, particularly Anna Petrunkina-Harrison and Esther Perez for their flow cytometry advice; the Cambridge Blood and Stem Cell Biobank, specifically Joanna Baxter and the team of nurses consenting and collecting cord blood samples; David Kent for critical reading of the manuscript. E.L. is supported by a Sir Henry Dale fellowship from the Wellcome Trust (WT)/Royal Society. S.B. is supported by a CRUK Cambridge Cancer Center PhD fellowship. Research in the E.L. and B.G. laboratories is supported by the WT, EHA, CRUK, Bloodwise, MRC, BBSRC, NIH-NIDDK, and core support grants by the WT and MRC to the WT-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.