IL-7 enhances Ag-specific human T cell response by increasing expression of IL-2R α and γ chains

Yuan K. Chou, Dennis N. Bourdette, David Barnes, Thomas P. Finn, Susan Murray, Laura Unsicker, Ian Robey, Ruth H. Whitham, Abigail C. Buenafe, Mark Allegretta, Halina Offner, Arthur A. Vandenbark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Interleukin-7 has demonstrated potent enhancing effects on the growth and differentiation of several immature celt types, including thymocytes, and on survival of resting and antigen activated T cells. In this study, we evaluated the effects of IL-7 on post-thymic antigen-specific T cells from human blood. IL-7 was found to enhance proliferation responses and IFN-γ secretion of myelin or recall Ag-specific Th1 cells through the selective up- regulation of the IL-2Rα and γ but not β chains in both an Ag-dependent and Ag-independent manner, but did not affect monocytes, B cells, or NK cells. These functions of IL-7 enhanced the detection of Th1 but not Th2 cell frequency by > 2.5 fold, and promoted selection of Ag-specific Th1 cells by the limiting dilution method. Moreover, IL-7 pretreatment conferred increased resistance of CD4 + T cells to CD8 + cell lysis. These studies demonstrate that IL-7 promotes the growth and survival of circulating Ag-specific human Th1 cells through a mechanism that probably involves the γc common receptor for IL-2 family members that includes IL-7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999


  • Human T cells
  • IL-2R
  • IL-7
  • Survival factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'IL-7 enhances Ag-specific human T cell response by increasing expression of IL-2R α and γ chains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this