The Role of IL-7 and Its Receptor in B-Cell Ontogeny
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Interleukin-7 is a molecule that was originally identified on the basis of its ability to stimulate growth of murine pre-B cells (1). It appears to be principally a growth factor, not a differentiation factor, and has no effects on mature B cells. How early IL-7 acts in the pathway of B-lymphopoiesis has not been clearly defined; however, it is clear that other factors or signals are required at the very earliest stages of B-lymphopoiesis due to the necessity for contact with a stromal layer. In order to better understand the role of IL-7 in the context of the other factors which may influence B-lymphopoiesis, we have studied the effect of altering in vivo levels of IL-7 in mice. This has been done in three ways: first, by relatively short term administration of IL-7; second, through the generation of IL-7 transgenic mice which result in constitutive overexpression of IL-7; and third, through administration to mice of an anti-IL-7 antibody to remove the in vivo effects of IL-7. Although IL-7 has known effects on a number of cell lineages, the data presented here will concentrate primarily on what happens to the B-cell compartment.
KeywordsStromal Layer Enlarge Mesenteric Lymph Node Stromal Cell Layer Heat Stable Antigen Agar Bone Marrow
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