The differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells into mature blood cell lineages is tightly regulated. Here we report that CD27, which is expressed on stem and early progenitor cells in bone marrow, can be important in this process. Deletion of CD27 increased the myeloid colony–forming potential of stem and early progenitor cells and enhanced B lymphoid reconstitutive capacity in competitive transplantation experiments. Conversely, stimulation of CD27+ progenitor cells with CD70, the unique ligand for CD27, inhibited colony-forming potential in vitro and lymphocyte outgrowth in vivo. As CD70 is expressed only on activated immune cells, we suggest that CD27 triggering on early progenitor cells provides a negative feedback signal to leukocyte differentiation during immune activation.
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We thank H. Hagoort and R. van Olffen for technical assistance; E. Nolte-'t Hoen (Imperial College London, London, UK), R. Mebius (VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and C. Reis e Sousa (Cancer Research UK, London, UK) for critical reading of the manuscript; and J. Borst (The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for providing CD27-deficient mice.
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