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The survival of peripheral T cells is dependent on their access to peripheral LNs (pLNs) and stimulation by IL-7. In pLNs fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) and lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) produce IL-7 suggesting their contribution to the IL-7-dependent survival of T cells. However, IL-7 production is detectable in multiple organs and is not restricted to pLNs. This raises the question whether pLN-derived IL-7 is required for the maintenance of peripheral T cell homeostasis. Here, we show that numbers of naive T cells (TN ) remain unaffected in pLNs and spleen of mice lacking Il7 gene activity in pLN FRCs, LECs, or both. In contrast, frequencies of central memory T cells (TCM ) are reduced in FRC-specific IL-7 KO mice. Thus, steady state IL-7 production by pLN FRCs is critical for the maintenance of TCM , but not TN , indicating that both T cell subsets colonize different ecological niches in vivo. © 2020 The Authors. European Journal of Immunology published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Laura Knop, Katrin Deiser, Ute Bank, Amelie Witte, Juliane Mohr, Lars Philipsen, Hans J Fehling, Andreas J Müller, Ulrich Kalinke, Thomas Schüler. IL-7 derived from lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells is dispensable for naive T cell homeostasis but crucial for central memory T cell survival. European journal of immunology. 2020 Jun;50(6):846-857

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PMID: 32043573

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