Dissecting T cell lineage relationships by cellular barcoding

Koen Schepers, Erwin Swart, Jeroen W J van Heijst, Carmen Gerlach, Maria Castrucci, Daoud Sie, Mike Heimerikx, Arno Velds, Ron M Kerkhoven, Ramon Arens, Ton N M Schumacher

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T cells, as well as other cell types, are composed of phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets. However, for many of these populations it is unclear whether they develop from common or separate progenitors. To address such issues, we developed a novel approach, termed cellular barcoding, that allows the dissection of lineage relationships. We demonstrate that the labeling of cells with unique identifiers coupled to a microarray-based detection system can be used to analyze family relationships between the progeny of such cells. To exemplify the potential of this technique, we studied migration patterns of families of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in vivo. We demonstrate that progeny of individual T cells rapidly seed independent lymph nodes and that antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells present at different effector sites are largely derived from a common pool of precursors. These data show how locally primed T cells disperse and provide a technology for kinship analysis with wider utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2008

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