Interleukin-7 treatment promotes the differentiation pathway of T-cell-receptor-alpha beta cells selectively to the CD8+ cell lineage.
ABSTRACT In this report we have studied the influence of interleukin-7 (IL-7) on thymocyte differentiation by evaluating the effects of IL-7 on the generation of T-cell receptor-alpha beta (TCR-alpha beta) and TCR-gamma delta thymocyte subpopulations in rat fetal thymus organ culture. IL-7 enhanced the differentiation pathway of TCR alpha beta thymocytes, first increasing the numbers of immature CD8+ cells, and later those of both CD4+ CD8+ and mature thymocytes. The kinetics of thymocyte migration out of thymic lobes was also accelerated, and the average number of mature TCR-alpha beta phi emigrants per day was increased in the presence of IL-7. Moreover, mature CD4- CD8+ thymocytes were preferentially generated after IL-7 administration. This TCR-alpha beta hi cell population was not actively dividing, indicating that IL-7-promoted thymocyte differentiation was selective to the CD8 cell lineage. Distribution of some TCR-V alpha and TCR-V beta segments among mature thymocytes was also modified in IL-7-treated thymic lobes. On the contrary, the maturation of TCR-gamma delta was not affected by IL-7 addition during the first days of culture, but their numbers sharply increased by day 6 of culture. These results were confirmed with IL-7-treated cultures for 24 hr, showing that IL-7 responsiveness was acquired by TCR-gamma delta cells late in thymus ontogeny. The present results thus indicate a key role for IL-7 in the maturation of TCR-alpha beta thymocytes and the expansion of thymic TCR-gamma delta cells.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of interleukin 7 (IL-7) in the development of the lymphoid system, we have generated two lines of transgenic mice carrying an IL-7 cDNA fused to an immunoglobulin heavy chain promoter and enhancer. This transgene is expressed in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and skin provoking a perturbation of T cell development characterized by a marked reduction of CD4+ CD8+ (double-positive) thymocytes. Quite unexpectedly, however, both lines also develop a progressive cutaneous disorder involving a dermal lymphoid infiltrate that results in progressive alopecia, hyperkeratosis, and exfoliation. Although the infiltrate is primarily composed of T lineage cells, its development is not impeded in the athymic nu/nu background. Furthermore, the phenotype can be transmitted horizontally by transplanting lymphoid tissues or skin to syngeneic wild-type mice. Thus, the phenotype is conveyed by skin-homing, mobile cells (presumably the infiltrating lymphocytes) in a cell-autonomous fashion. In addition to the skin phenotype, this transgene also provokes the development of a lymphoproliferative disorder that induces B and T cell lymphomas within the first 4 mo of life. These findings suggest potential physiologic actions of IL-7 in T cell development and in cutaneous immunity. They also demonstrate that IL-7 can act as an oncogene in the living organism.Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/1993; 177(2):305-16. · 13.85 Impact Factor
Article: Interleukin 7 is produced by human intestinal epithelial cells and regulates the proliferation of intestinal mucosal lymphocytes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The interaction of mucosal lymphocytes and intestinal epithelial cells is thought to be important in regulating immune response in the intestinal mucosa, but conclusive evidence is limited. Here we demonstrate the expression of IL-7 mRNA in human intestinal mucosa by combined reverse transcription PCR and Southern blot hybridization. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization confirm the presence of IL-7 in intestinal epithelial cells, especially in epithelial goblet cells. Moreover, IL-7 receptor expression in mucosal lymphocytes is demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, as well as by Southern blot and flow cytometric analysis of freshly isolated lamina propria lymphocytes. In contrast, IL-7 receptor could not be detected in the cell surface of freshly isolated PBLs. The functional activity of IL-7 receptor is demonstrated by the utility of recombinant IL-7 to stimulate the growth of lamina propria lymphocytes, and conversely inhibit CD3-dependent proliferation of these cells. In contrast, IL-7 caused no significant increase in DNA synthesis and cell numbers when added to PBLs. These findings suggest that human intestinal epithelial cells and epithelial goblet cells produce IL-7, and locally produced IL-7 may serve as a potent regulatory factor for intestinal mucosal lymphocytes.Journal of Clinical Investigation 07/1995; 95(6):2945-53. · 15.39 Impact Factor