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Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Jun;19(3):320-6. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Cytokines and T-cell homeostasis.

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Division of Immunology and Allergy, University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), Rue du Bugnon 46, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Homeostasis of T cells can be defined as the ability of the immune system to maintain normal T-cell counts and to restore T-cell numbers following T-cell depletion or expansion. These processes are governed by extrinsic signals, most notably cytokines. Two members of the common gamma chain family of cytokines, interleukin (IL)-7 and IL-15, are central to homeostatic proliferation and survival of mature CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Recent evidence suggests that other cytokines, including IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, interferons and TGF-beta, as well as the transcription factors T-bet and eomesodermin all play important but different roles at distinct stages of T-cell homeostasis.

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