Human T-lymphoid progenitors generated in a feeder-cell-free Delta-like-4 culture system promote T-cell reconstitution in NOD/SCID/γc(-/-) mice.
Reimann C, Six E, Dal-Cortivo L, Schiavo A, Appourchaux K, Lagresle-Peyrou C, de Chappedelaine C, Ternaux B, Coulombel L, Beldjord K, Cavazzana-Calvo M, Andre-Schmutz I.
2013 Feb 28
Slow T-cell reconstitution is a major clinical concern after transplantation of cord blood (CB)-derived hematopoietic stem cells. Adoptive transfer of in vitro-generated T-cell progenitors has emerged as a promising strategy for promoting de novo thymopoiesis and thus accelerating T-cell reconstitution. Here, we describe the development of a new culture system based on the immobilized Notch ligand Delta-like-4 (DL-4). Culture of human CD34(+) CB cells in this new DL-4 system enabled the in vitro generation of large amounts of T-cell progenitor cells that (a) displayed the phenotypic and molecular signatures of early thymic progenitors and (b) had high T lymphopoietic potential. When transferred into NOD/SCID/γc(-/-) (NSG) mice, DL-4 primed T-cell progenitors migrated to the thymus and developed into functional, mature, polyclonal αβ T cells that subsequently left the thymus and accelerated T-cell reconstitution. T-cell reconstitution was even faster and more robust when ex vivo-manipulated and nonmanipulated CB samples were simultaneously injected into NSG mice (i.e., a situation reminiscent of the double CB transplant setting). This work provides further evidence of the ability of in vitro-generated human T-cell progenitors to accelerate T-cell reconstitution and also introduces a feeder-cell-free culture technique with the potential for rapid, safe transfer to a clinical setting.