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Trends Immunol. 2009 May;30(5):193-200. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Apr 7.

A new paradigm for hematopoietic cell lineages: revision of the classical concept of the myeloid-lymphoid dichotomy.

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  • 1Laboratory for Lymphocyte Development, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan.


The concept that blood cells arising from hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) can be subdivided into two major lineages, a myelo-erythroid and a lymphoid lineage, has long persisted. Indeed, it has become almost axiomatic that the first branch point from the HSC produces two progenitors, one for myelo-erythroid cells and the other for lymphoid cells. However, recent studies have provided a battery of findings that cannot be explained by this classical model. We will outline how this classical model arose before describing how we came to propose an alternative 'myeloid-based model', in which myeloid potential is retained in erythroid, T, and B cell branches even after these lineages have segregated from each other.

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