Early B-lymphocyte precursors and their regulation by sex steroids

Paul W. Kincade, Kay L. Medina, Kimberly J. Payne, Maria Isabel D. Rossi, Kim Sue R.S. Tudor, Yoshio Yamashita, Taku Kouro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


This review describes an improved characterization of early B-lymphocyte precursors in mice and the remarkable sensitivity of the same cells to hormones. The nuclear enzyme terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) was used as a marker to image and characterize bone marrow cells lacking all lineage-associated markers. Most early TdT+ precursors have a distinctive density of c-kit and express the interleukin-7Rα chain, as well as flt-3/flk2, but lack CD34. An understanding of those cell surface properties made it possible to obtain highly enriched, viable cells with the potential to give rise to CD19+ lymphocytes in culture. A series of other flow cytometry and culture experiments suggested a possible differentiation sequence for these early pro-B cells. This new model was used to advantage in our studies of sex steroids. It appears that early precursors represent a hormone-sensitive control point for determining numbers of new B lymphocytes that are produced within bone marrow. We also compare and contrast these findings with B lymphopoiesis in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalImmunological Reviews
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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