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Although it is well established that unique B-cell lineages develop through distinct regulatory mechanisms during embryonic development, much less is understood about the differences between embryonic and adult B-cell progenitor cells, likely to underpin the genetics and biology of infant and childhood PreB acute lymphoblastic leukemia (PreB-ALL), initiated by distinct leukemia-initiating translocations during embryonic development. Herein, we establish that a distinct subset of the earliest CD19(+) B-cell progenitors emerging in the E13.5 mouse fetal liver express the colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF1R), previously thought to be expressed, and play a lineage-restricted role in development of myeloid lineages, and macrophages in particular. These early embryonic CSF1R(+)CD19(+) ProB cells also express multiple other myeloid genes and, in line with this, possess residual myeloid as well as B-cell, but not T-cell lineage potential. Notably, these CSF1R(+) myeloid-primed ProB cells are uniquely present in a narrow window of embryonic fetal liver hematopoiesis and do not persist in adult bone marrow. Moreover, analysis of CSF1R-deficient mice establishes a distinct role of CSF1R in fetal B-lymphopoiesis. CSF1R(+) myeloid-primed embryonic ProB cells are relevant for infant and childhood PreB-ALLs, which frequently have a bi-phenotypic B-myeloid phenotype, and in which CSF1R-rearrangements have recently been reported.


Journal article



Publication Date





217 - 226


Lund Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, Division of Molecular Hematology, Department of Laboratory Medicine.