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The Protean Nature of Cells in the B Lymphocyte Lineage

The Division of Basic Sciences, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.
Immunity (Impact Factor: 19.75). 07/2007; 26(6):703-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2007.05.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The subdivision of bone marrow (BM) with surface markers and reporter systems and the use of multiple culture and transplantation assays to assess differentiation potential have led to extraordinary progress in defining stages of B lymphopoiesis between the hematopoietic stem cell and B cell receptor (BCR)-expressing lymphocytes. Despite the lack of standard nomenclature and a series of technical issues that still need to be resolved, there seems to be a general consensus regarding the major route to becoming a B cell. Nevertheless, evidence that additional, minor pathways through which B lineage cells are generated exists, and a new appreciation that lymphoid progenitors are protean and able to alter their differentiation potential during embryogenesis and after birth in response to infections suggests that a full understanding of B cell development and how it is regulated has not yet been attained.

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