The present study compared the T-cell progenitor content of CD34+ lineage (Lin)- cells isolated from normal adult bone marrow (ABM) and mobilized peripheral blood (MPB). Both cell populations were found to differentiate into T cells when injected into human fetal thymi implanted into severe combined immunodeficient mice. Cytokine-MPB cells were less efficient than ABM cells in engrafting in the fetal human thymus, although both gave rise to thymocytes with identical phenotypes based on the analysis of CD1a, CD3, CD4, and CD8 expression. Thymocytes derived from adult CD34+ Lin- cells were capable of fully differentiating into mature CD3+ T cells expressing either the T-cell receptor (TCR) gamma delta or the TCR alpha beta (the later associated with CD4 or CD8), showing that the T-cell progenies of adult CD34+ cells were polyclonal and functional. Our data indicate that human MPB CD34+ cells are qualitatively identical to their BM counterparts, and demonstrate the existence of T-lymphoid progenitor cell activity in MPB.

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