Faculty Publication: Marino, Tan, Taylor, Van de Wiele, Broughan, Teague


Marino, J. H., Tan, C., Taylor, A. A., Bentley, C., Van De Wiele, C. J., Ranne, R., Broughan, T., Teague, T. K. (2010). Differential il-7 responses in developing human thymocytes. Human Immunology, 71(4), 329-333.

Interleukin (IL)-7 is a factor essential for mouse and human thymopoiesis. Mouse thymocytes have altered sensitivities to IL-7 at different developmental stages. CD4/CD8 double positive (DP) mouse thymocytes are shielded from the influence of IL-7 because of loss of CD127 (IL-7Ralpha). In this study, we assessed IL-7 receptor expression and IL-7 signaling in human thymocytes. We found human DP cells to be severely limited in their ability to phosphorylate STAT-5 in response to IL-7. The relative expression levels of the IL-7-inducible proteins Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 were also lower in human DP cells, consistent with a stage-specific decrease in IL-7 responsiveness. IL-7 responses were restored in a subset of cells that matured past the DP stage. Unlike the regulation of IL-7 signaling in mouse thymocytes, loss of IL-7 signaling in human DP cells was not due to absence of CD127, but instead correlated with downregulation of CD132 (common gamma chain).

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