T lymphocyte development

T lymphocytes develop from bone marrow-derived cells that migrate to the thymus. The earliest thymic progenitor is the CD4'"CD8"CD3" thymocyte. This progenitor passes through many stages of maturation, including a CD3CD4 CD8~ stage and then a CD3'"CD4~CD8 ' stage, before becoming a fully mature CD3hiCD4+CD8" or CD3hiCD4"CD8 ' T lymphocyte. Early in this process, before the CD3'┬░CD4+CD84 stage, there is a branch in this pathway towards development of a subset of 78 T lymphocytes. Other subsets of 78 T lymphocytes develop in the thymus during fetal but not later life.

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