IL-7 enhances the responsiveness of human T cells that develop in the bone marrow of athymic mice

E. C. Tsark, M. A. Dao, X. Wang, K. Weinberg, Jan Nolta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The beige/nude/xid/human (bnx/hu) model of human hematopoiesis provides a unique opportunity to study extrathymic human T lymphocyte development in an in vivo system. Purified human hematopoietic stem cells develop into mature T lymphocytes and immature progenitors in the bone marrow of athymic bnx mice. The human T cells are all TCRαβ+ and display a restricted TCRVβ repertoire. In the current studies, we examined the effects of systemic human 1L-7 (huIL-7) administration on the phenotype and the activation status of the bnx/hu T cells. In the majority of the mice that did not have huIL-7 administration, a higher frequency of human CD3+/CD8+ than CD3+/CD4+ T cells developed in the bone marrow. This phenomenon is also frequently observed in human bone marrow transplant recipients. Extremely low levels of IL-2 were expressed by human CD3+ cells isolated from these mice, in response to PMA plus ionomycin and to CD3 and CD28 cross-linking. IL-4 was not expressed by cells exposed to either stimulus, demonstrating a profound inability of the bnx/hu T cells to produce this cytokine. Systemic production of huIL-7 from engineered stromal cells transplanted into the mice increased the human CD4 to CD8 ratios, and increased the ratio of memory to naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. The human CD3+ cells recovered from mice that had systemic huIL-7 and equivalent numbers of CD3+/CD4+ and CD3+/CD8+ cells in the marrow were still unable to produce IL-4 in response to any condition tested, but were capable of normal levels of IL-2 production following stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'IL-7 enhances the responsiveness of human T cells that develop in the bone marrow of athymic mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this