Author(s): Fujihashi K, McGhee JR, Yamamoto M, Peschon JJ, Kiyono H
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Abstract Both interleukin-7 (IL-7) and IL-7 receptor (R) gene knockout (IL-7-/- and IL-7R-/-) mice were employed in order to directly investigate the importance of the IL-7 and IL-7R signaling pathway for the development of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL). Loss of the IL-7R-specific gene resulted in complete deficiency of the gamma delta T cell lineage with lack of V gamma 4- and V gamma 7-specific messages in the epithelium of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in comparison to control mice of the same genetic background (approximately 40\%). Disruption of the IL-7-specific gene resulted in marked, but not complete depletion of gamma delta T cells (2-3\%) in IEL. Furthermore, mRNA for both V gamma 4 and V gamma 7 genes were detected in the gamma delta IEL subset of IL-7-/- mice. The subtle differences between IL-7-/- and IL-7R-/- mice suggest that although IL-7 controls most of the expansion and/or development of gamma delta IEL, another ligand binding to the IL-7R also plays a discernable role. Furthermore, alpha beta IEL developed more slowly in IL-7R-/- mice when compared with ligand knockouts; however, the frequency of IEL T cells subsequently increased with age and normal levels of CD3+ T cells expressing the alpha beta TCR were detected by 2 and 3 months of age in IL-7-/- and IL-7R-/- mice, respectively. The direct comparison of IL-7-/- and IL-7R-/- mice clearly supports the hypothesis that both IL-7 and another IL-7R binding molecule can influence the development of gamma delta T cells in the intestinal epithelium.
This article was published in Eur J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy