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© Research
Publication : Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Cutting Edge: a thymocyte-thymic epithelial cell cross-talk dynamically regulates intrathymic IL-7 expression in vivo

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) - 03 May 2010

Alves NL, Huntington ND, Mention JJ, Richard-Le Goff O, Di Santo JP

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20439914

J. Immunol. 2010 Jun;184(11):5949-53

Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are the predominant intrathymic source of the essential thymopoietin IL-7. Whether thymocyte-TEC interactions have a role in the regulation of IL-7 expression is not known. By exploiting IL-7 reporter mice in which yellow fluorescent protein expression identifies TECs expressing high levels of IL-7 (Il7(+) TECs), we show that Il7(+) TECs segregate from emerging medullary TECs during thymic organogenesis. Although Il7(+) TECs normally diminish with age, we found that Il7(+) TECs are markedly retained in alymphoid Rag2(-/-)Il2rg(-/-) IL-7 reporter mice that manifest a profound thymopoietic arrest. Transfer of Tcra(-/-) or wild-type (but not Rag2(-/-)) hematopoietic progenitors to alymphoid IL-7 reporter recipients normalizes the frequency of Il7(+) TECs and re-establishes cortical TEC/medullary TEC segregation. Although thymocyte-derived signals are often considered stimulatory for TEC maturation, our findings identify a negative feedback mechanism in which signals derived from TCRbeta-selected thymocytes modulate TEC-dependent IL-7 expression.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439914