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J Intern Med. 2010 Aug;268(2):181-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02241.x. Epub 2010 Apr 20.

The role of IL-1beta in reduced IL-7 production by stromal and epithelial cells: a model for impaired T-cell numbers in the gut during HIV-1 infection.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



Interleukin (IL)-7 is a key cytokine in T-cell homeostasis. Stromal cells, intestinal epithelial cells and keratinocytes are known to produce this cytokine. The mechanisms and cellular factors regulating IL-7 production are still unclear. We assessed whether IL-1beta and interferon (IFN)-gamma, cytokines produced during inflammatory conditions, may impact on IL-7 production.


We used human intestinal epithelial cells (DLD-1 cell line) and bone marrow stromal cells (HS27 cell line), known to produce IL-7; IL-7 production was evaluated at the mRNA and protein levels. To assess whether treatment of HS27 cells with IL-1beta and/or IFN-gamma leads to changes in the gene expression of cytokines, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and chemokines, we analysed gene expression profiles using the whole-genome microarray Human Gene 1.0 ST.


We found that IFN-gamma enhanced the expression of IL-7 mRNA (P < 0.001) in both cell lines. IL-1beta treatment led to a significant down-regulation (P < 0.001) of IL-7 mRNA expression in both cell lines. The IL-7 concentration in supernatants collected from treated DLD-1 and HS27 cell cultures reflected the trend of IL-7 mRNA levels. The gene profiles revealed dramatic changes in expression of cytokines and their receptors (IL-7/IL-7R alpha; IL-1alpha,IL-1beta/IL-1R1; IFN-gamma/IFN-gammaR1), of IFN regulatory factors (IRF-1 and 2), of TLRs and of important chemo-attractants for T cells. The microarray results were verified by additional methods.


Our results are discussed in the setting of inflammation and T-cell survival in the gut compartment during HIV-1 infection where stromal and epithelial cells may produce factors that contribute to impaired IL-7 homeostasis and homing of T cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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